Elizabeth already the hot favourite for royal baby name as couple surprise the bookies with their early pregnancy announcement

Ladbroke's are offering odds of 8/1 that the baby will be called Elizabeth after the Queen

Diana as a name for the couple's first child is in fourth place at 12/1

One customer bet 10 on the name Rylan being chosen at odds of 1000/1

William Hill is even offering odds on the colour of the newborn's hair – 6/4 brown, 2/1 blonde, 5/2 black, and 8/1 ginger

Morph Thing website has created bizarre composite images of what the baby may look like



20:39 GMT, 3 December 2012

After Prince William accepted a babygro from a well wisher in Cambridge last week it was heavily odds on at 1/5 that the royal couple would announce they
were expecting a child in 2013.

The surprise announcement today beat the odds by one month, and now it is bets on the new arrival's name that are hotting up.

While, naturally, it's a 50:50 shot over the sex of their newborn with firms like Ladbrokes offering even money for a boy or a girl, and William Hill giving odds of 10/11 for a boy and the same for a girl. more interesting bets are now being taken on the name of the child, and it's Elizabeth that's chalked up as the 8/1 favourite.

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The Duchess of Cambridge at St. Andrew's School, where Her Royal Highness attended school from 1986 till 1995

Queen Elizabeth watches part of a children's sports event during a visit to Vernon Park in Nottingham, central England in June

The name Elizabeth is already the favourite for the couple's new arrival at Ladbrokes where odds are 8/1

Frances (10/1), John (10/1) and Charles (10/1) follow closely behind, and should the baby be a girl it's a 12/1 chance she's named after William's mother Diana.

Traditional names like Anne (12/1), Philip (14/1) and Edward (16/1) are also being considered by the gambling companies.

As speculation mounted last week one gambler who believed the couple would be expecting sooner rather than later placed a 10 bet on Rylan to be the chosen name at odds of 1000/1.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: 'Kate and Wills pulled the wool over our eyes but now attention turns to the name of the baby and it looks like the couple will stick with a traditional name.

Ladbrokes' latest odds

Elizabeth 8/1
Frances 10/1
John 10/1
Charles 10/1
Diana 12/1
Anne 12/1
James 12/1
George 14/1
Mary 14/1
Philip 14/1
Richard 16/1
Edward 16/1
Catherine 16/1
Sarah 16/1
Spencer 20/1
Andrew 20/1
David 20/1
Jessica 20/1
Victoria 20/1
Alexander 20/1

'If they're expecting a girl who better to name her after than Her Majesty.'

Speculation as to what they might name their first child began even before Kate was pregnant with predictions posted ranging from Mary and Matilda to Edmund and George on the mumsnet website before their wedding.

Their decision – be it traditional or unusual – will most likely set a trend for the next generation of babies.

Royal youngsters are mostly given safe, historical names which are passed down through the monarchy such as James, Edward, Charles, George, Mary and Elizabeth.

William and Kate will also be mindful of choosing a name that befits a future King or Queen. This royal baby will be born third in line to the throne.

If Kate gives birth to a girl, many will expect the Duke and Duchess to pay homage in some way to William's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as to the Queen.

Likewise, the arrival of a boy could see a tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales or even Prince Harry. But the Cambridges are also likely to take inspiration from Kate's side of the family.

Royal children often boast an array of middle names – William's own being Arthur Philip Louis – so the couple are likely to pick several – offering them the chance to include a nod to both sets of relatives.

They also might incorporate a Welsh name to reflect their links to Wales, a name with historical connections to the city of Cambridge or perhaps something Scottish to represent the time they spent together in St Andrews.

Lady Diana pictured in 1996

Queen Victoria pictured in 1890

Family values: The name Diana is joint fourth favourite at 12/1 while the more traditional Victoria is at 20/1 at Ladbrokes

Bookmaker William Hill said it will pay out a 'small five-figure sum' after many people betted on a 2013 royal baby.

Spokesman Joe Crilly said: 'We fully
expect that the betting public will get involved in speculating what the
baby will be called.

'When William and Catherine got
married we were bowled over by a million pounds worth of bets and we
predict similar levels of excitement before the birth of their first

William Hill is even offering odds on the colour of the newborn's hair – 6/4 brown, 2/1 blonde, 5/2 black, and 8/1 ginger.

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, the authors of Cool Names for Babies, already have their predictions on the babyzone website – posted before Kate was even pregnant.

Suggestions include Alice (the name of Queen Victoria's second daughter and also the Duke of Edinburgh's mother), Amelia (George II's second daughter), Dorothea (meaning gift of god) and Charlotte (wife of George III) for a girl and Augustus (George II's middle name), Frederick (a son of George III) or Leopold (a son of Queen Victoria).

If the baby is boy, he would be expected to be styled a Prince and if the baby was a girl, a Princess.

The last example of a great granddaughter of a still serving Sovereign born on the male line was Princess Mary, who was born in 1897 and was George VI's sister and a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

In a thoroughly modern twist popular website 'Morph Thing' was
quick off the mark to create images of what a baby boy or girl might look
like using the features of Kate and William.

Site creator Charanjeet Kondal has
taken their unique features and morphed them into what they would look
like combined and claims that the results for either a boy or a girl
have a clear resemblance to the expecting couple.

A 'morph' image of how Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's baby might look if it is a boy

A 'morph' image of how Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's baby might look if it is a girl

A 'morph' image of how the baby might look as a boy (left) and girl (right) from website Morph Thing


William uses the surname 'Wales' professionally in the forces

William uses the surname 'Wales' professionally in the forces

According to the monarchy's official
website: 'For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are
entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a
surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon
marriage), that surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.'

In 1917, George V adopted Windsor as the royal family's House and
surname. In 1960, for the direct descendants of the Queen and the Duke
of Edinburgh, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, it became Mountbatten-Windsor.

Mountbatten was the surname Greek-born Prince Philip assumed when he
became naturalised in 1947.

William has used Wales professionally in the forces. His children might
use Cambridge in the same way, or even Wales too as William still
retains his title Prince William of Wales.

If a boy, the baby is also likely to one day be Prince of Wales. The
title is usually given to the male heir to the throne, but it is not

VIDEO: Royal baby! All the latest on the surprise announcement and what to 'expect'…