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Royal baby name: new choice emerges as bookies' favourite

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A new name has joined the list of favourites for Kate Middleton's baby name. Bookies have apparently slashed the odds on Charlotte. It is now in second place at 4/1 behind Alexandra, which is 5/2.Charlotte's a clever bet since it's relevant to the Middleton family, while being suitably regal. It is the middle name of Kate's sister Pippa Middleton, who is being touted as a godmother. 


The Duchess says she and her husband have a shortlist for both a boy and a girl

The royal family has had two Charlottes – the wife of George III and her granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Wales, who was clever, feisty and hugely popular. She's also a tragic heroine, having died young at 21 in childbirth.The top choice, Alexandra, would pay tribute to Edward VII's charming consort and a cousin of the current Queen.For a boy George, Charles, Philip and James feature heavily in the nation's favourite guessing game.But much of the betting has focused on names fit for a Princess after onlookers at one engagement claimed that the Duchess that had hinted she and Prince William were expecting a girl. The reports later turned out to have been exaggerated.Even so Diana, Elizabeth, Victoria and Mary have been hotly tipped.Luckily in royal circles the tradition is for several names. The Duke was christened William Arthur Philip Louis, while his brother Prince Harry is Henry Charles Albert David.


Charlotte, which is Pippa's second name, is hotly tipped

On a visit to a homeless shelter in April, the royal mother-to-be said the couple had been given plenty of helpful suggestions.She told well-wishers: "We have a shortlist for both (boy and girl), but it's very difficult. My friends keep texting me names!".Kate also said she was hoping for a boy, while her husband was keen on sugar and spice and all things nice.Whatever the name of their little one, he or she will give the public another royal summer to remember.After the excitement of the royal wedding and the Diamond Jubilee, Britons are preparing for more celebrations to mark the arrival of Baby Cambridge.It's thought as a nation we'll spend ₤243 million on champagne, barbecues and memorabilia to welcome the future monarch. Souvenirs being stocked by retailers include babygros, mugs and plates – in both blue and pink.One particularly inventive publisher has even brought out a children's book featuring the Queen on the cover parachuting out of a plane with William and Kate's baby strapped to her chest.

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