June 27 - Business is booming at British bookmakers on speculation the royal baby could come sooner than expected, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fudging the date to retain some privacy. Sonia Legg reports.
£50,000 pounds is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount of royal baby bets placed at William Hill over the past week. Turnover at the bookmakers has trebled thanks to the imminent arrival of a new prince or princess. Paddy Power has seen a similar surge - it's expecting royal betting turnover to top £300,000 in the coming weeks, that's a 30 percent increase on the royal wedding in 2011. Officially, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first baby is due mid-July. William Hill says a girl and July 17 are the most popular bets. But many are speculating the baby will be early, believing Kate and Prince William are fudging the date to retain some privacy. Princess Diana fooled the public in 1982 by saying William was due on July 1 - he was actually born 10 days earlier. Diana is in fact one of the favoured names for a girl, along wth Alexandra, Charlotte and Elizabeth. George is the favoured boy's name.