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Royal baby bets soar as Kate's due date approaches

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The bookmakers' odds are heating up as the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, enters the final few weeks of her pregnancy. Gamblers are placing their bets on everything from the baby's gender to its due date, leading one bookmaker to cut the odds that Kate will welcome her second child in March.

Although it has been widely reported that Prince William and Kate's baby is expected in April, a flurry of bets in recent days has forced bookmaker Paddy Power to slash the odds on a March birth from 6/1 to 9/2.

KateMiddleton © Photo: Getty Images
Kate is expected to give birth to her second child in April

Meanwhile the general belief is that Prince George could soon have a little sister, with 80% of gamblers predicting that royal baby number two will be a girl. The name Elizabeth is currently the front-runner at 6/2 with Charlotte close behind at 9/2, while Philip takes the lead as the favourite name for a baby boy.

Prince George weighed 8lb 6oz when he was born in 2013, and the bookmakers are offering 11/8 that his younger sibling will be a similar weight between 7lbs-8lbs 15oz – or 8/1 that the baby will weigh in at 10lbs or more.

The public are also casting their bets on what Kate will wear to show off the newborn after leaving the hospital, with blue and pink topping the market at 4/1.

KateMiddleton1 © Photo: Getty Images
Bookmakers have cut the odds that the Duchess will give birth in March

Kate's due date previously came into question in February, when it was claimed that she was already suffering with morning sickness at the beginning of August.

Artist Paul Cummins, who created the famous poppy installation at the Tower of London, recently revealed that the Duchess nearly didn't come to see his artwork on 5 August because she was already suffering from Hyperemisis Gravidarum. This would bring Kate's due date nearer to the beginning of April.

Kensington Palace announced that Kate was expecting on 8 September, when she was thought to be only five or six weeks pregnant. The Duchess has carried out a number of public engagements throughout her pregnancy and will view a St Patrick's Day parade on Tuesday, in one of her final appearances before taking maternity leave.

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