LONDON: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting a baby in spring 2019, Kensington Palace has announced. The newly-wed couple arrived in Sydney on Monday ahead of a 16-day tour which will take in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
In a statement, Kensington Palace said: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019. “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be “delighted” for the couple. Doria Ragland, the mother of the duchess, is “very happy about this lovely news” and “looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild”.
Punters are rushing to bet on what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will call their baby.
Diana, Victoria and Alexander are all among the early favourites at the bookmakers.
The Queen speaks with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, following the wedding of Princess Eugenie (Aaron Chown/PA)
Paddy Power has Diana at 8/1, with many believing Harry and Meghan will pick this for a girl in tribute to the duke’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
William Hill has Alexander as its favourite at 7/1, while Ladbrokes said Victoria – the name of the nation’s second-longest reigning monarch – is its favourite at 8/1.
Rupert Adams, spokesman for William Hill, said: “We took eight bets in the first minute today, and given the popularity of the couple this could be bigger than the original market we had for Prince George.”
A Paddy Power spokesman said Diana was the firm’s clear favourite. The princess was killed in a car crash when Harry was just 12 years old.
Odds that the newborn will have red hair just like Harry are 3/1 at Paddy Power, who also have odds of 250/1 that the baby will share US president Donald Trump’s first name.
Meanwhile, Ladbrokes are offering 100/1 that the baby will be named after Meghan’s outspoken half-sister Samantha Markle.