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Though the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge haven't revealed the gender of their baby, due in July, the U.K. has been abuzz lately with talk of a new princess. The betting public's odds-on favorite girl's name, according to Ladbrokes, a major online betting company? Alexandra. It's Queen Elizabeth II's middle name, which is a nod to her great-grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark, the fashion-conscious wife of King Edward VII.
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Lots of couples name their child after a cherished grandparent, and much of the public thinks the royal parents-to-be are going in this direction too because they've been putting money down on Will's granny. Queen Elizabeth II has been monarch since 1952 and, at 87, is more popular than ever. Elizabeth I was no slouch either – she was the daughter of Henry VIII who became queen of England in 1559 and ruled for 44 years.
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Will you cry a little if the newborn is a girl and she's named Diana? Many bettors think this name may be chosen to honor the memory of Will's beloved late mother, who coincidentally was also born in July. When the prince proposed, he gave his fiancée Diana's famous sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring; giving his daughter Diana's name would be another touching tribute to the mother the prince dearly loved.
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Another popular contender, Victoria is the name of the longest-running monarch in British history. Queen Victoria proved to be a clever gal: By the time she ascended the throne in 1837, the British sovereignty had little political power, yet Queen V. was savvy enough to still personally influence government policy. Talk about a good role model for a little princess!
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Bettors have been putting big bucks on "Mary" too. Brits admire Mary of Teck, who was queen when her hubby George V was king from 1910 to 1936; she was also the current queen's grandmother. Another famous Mary was the Queen of Scots, who became the country's ruler when she was only six days old. Will and Kate's newborn wouldn't gain power quite that early; there's Grandpa Charles, and Dad, who are ahead in the line of succession.
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There's already a Pippa in the family so why not a Poppy? Though the odds are pretty slim (246:1, according to an online poll) that it'll be chosen, Kate is a modern woman who may shun tradition and go with a cheery option reminiscent of fields of flowers and a magnificent shade of red. All hail "Princess Poppy"?
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By George, this is a popular name! According to Ladbrokes, the moniker is the top bet for a royal baby boy. British history is flush with esteemed kings with that name, including George III, who reigned during several important military conflicts, including the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the American colonies. Then there was George VI, Queen Elizabeth II's father who overcame a speech impediment (Colin Firth portrayed him in The King's Speech) and became well-liked during World War II for visiting bombed areas throughout Britain.
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The public is pledging many pounds on the name of Will's grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth's husband. Born into Greek and Danish royalty, Prince Philip served in the British navy during World War II and became a British subject shortly before he and Elizabeth married in 1947. The often-outspoken 91-year-old has been ailing lately – having his great-grandchild named after him would be a fitting acknowledgment of what this patriarch means to the royal family.
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Another high-ranking name among bettors, "James" often brings to mind James I, the 17th-century king of Scotland who ended up as the first ruler of all of Great Britain (including England and Ireland). He was also the brains behind the famous King James Bible, which was completed in 1611 and is still in use today.
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Might the royal couple name their little prince after Charles, the Duke of Wales and Will's dad? Sentimentalists have made this name a favorite in the betting polls. Another namesake has a good rep too: Charles II, who was crowned king of Scotland in 1651 and nicknamed the "merry monarch" for reopening theaters, bars and brothels that had been closed under Puritan rule. Good times!
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What little boy wouldn’t like to be named after a brave 12th-century warrior and one of the most popular English kings of all time, Richard I, a.k.a. Richard the Lionheart? The public likes it too, making it another top contender. Whatever name the royals end up choosing, it won't be an easy decision. On a trip to Glasgow, Scotland, last April, Kate told a bystander, "We have a shortlist for both [boy and girl], but it's very difficult. My friends keep texting me names!"
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