London, Apr 17: Prince William and his wife Kate's second baby will be a girl, bookmakers predicted on Friday, with Alice tipped as the most likely name for Britain's new royal baby.
A little sister for one-year-old Prince George is more likely than a baby brother, betting firms reckon, an outcome which would give William and Kate a child of each gender. [William, Kate release details of second baby]
Most bookmakers have Alice as their favourite name, closely followed by Charlotte and Elizabeth, as Britain awaits the baby expected later this month. [Prince William's wife Kate announces her due date to give birth to her 2nd child]
Paddy Power has Alice at 6/4, meaning a £4 bet would win £6 plus the £4 stake back if the prediction proves right. Charlotte is thought the next most likely baby name at 6/1, then Elizabeth on 7/1, followed by Victoria at 14/1, Alexandra on 16/1 and Diana, the name of William's late mother, at 20/1.
Ladbrokes has the chances of a baby girl at 8/13 and a boy at 6/5. "Nearly 90 per cent of all bets have been for a girl," Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge told AFP.
They price the name Alice at 2/1. "Those odds have absolutely collapsed from 20/1 about six weeks ago. The momentum has just been building and building and we've had to cut the odds every single day," Bridge said.
Among boys' names, Arthur, James and Alexander are the common favourites. William Hill quotes Arthur and James at 14/1, Henry and Richard at 20/1, with Alexander and Philip at 25/1. Albert, Edward and Louis are 33/1 shots.
"Alice has been the one name most punters have wanted to back in recent days and this gamble is showing no sign of stopping," said Coral's John Hill.
"We expect interest in our betting to intensify the closer we get to Kate giving birth," he added.
Bookmakers William Hill said today that more than half the bets they have taken in the last week have been on Alice.
"We believe the name must be at the very least on the shortlist," said spokesman Rupert Adams.
"Chardonnay is proving a popular outsider but I for one am not convinced!" Bookmakers are also offering a range of other betting markets, such as the baby's weight, hair colour and godparents.