Excitement over the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s baby mounted today as bookmakers predicted the child is most likely to be born on Thursday.
Meghan, 37, is expected to give birth imminently to her first child with her 34-year-old husband Prince Harry, and she is believed to have been due last weekend.
But there is still no sign of the Queen’s latest great-grandchild ‘Baby Sussex’, as the soon-to-be seventh in line to the throne has been dubbed.
And royal fans have tweeted a series of memes about their impatience – among them the quote from 1997 film Titanic of the character Rose saying: ‘It’s been 84 years.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured at Buckingham Palace on March 5 this year
Ladbrokes are offering odds of 1/6 that the baby will be born by Sunday, while Thursday is its 4-1 favourite for the day. A girl is priced at 4/6, ahead of a boy at 11/10.
Meghan and Harry have declined to reveal any details about the baby in advance such as when it is due or where the duchess has decided to have it.
Buckingham Palace will confirm when Meghan is in labour and the baby’s sex and weight when it is born, and the couple will pose for photographs a few days later.
The couple now live with their two dogs at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Berkshire, and are believed to be hoping for a home birth.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby could share its birthday with sports stars, actors and even foreign royalty if it is born in the coming days.
If the baby is born today it will share its birthday with actress Kirsten Dunst, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and former England and Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard.
Tomorrow, it would join Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, actress Joanna Lumley, Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Chatto and actor Matt Di Angelo.
The royal baby could also share its birthday with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter Princess Charlotte if it arrives on Thursday.
Harry’s appearance at the London Marathon on Sunday suggested to bookmakers the royal birth may not be imminent.
If the baby is born tomorrow, it would join Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, actress Joanna Lumley (left), Lady Sarah Chatto (centre) and actor Matt Di Angelo (right)
Betting firm Ladbrokes has May 2 as its 4-1 favourite for the day of the birth, and is offering odds of 1-6 on the duchess welcoming her first born this week.
The baby could also share its birthday with Princess Charlotte if it arrives on Thursday
Alex Apati from Ladbrokes said: ‘The wait to welcome the royal baby goes on and with Princess Charlotte’s birthday fast approaching, there’s every chance Harry and Meghan’s first born will share a birthday with their cousin.’
William Hill’s belief that the couple will have a girl was thrown into doubt when a customer attempted to place a £700 bet at 33-1 that they will have a boy and call it Albert. The potential payout would have been £23,100.
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: ‘Until now we were 100 per cent sure that they were having a girl, but this request for a big bet on Albert has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. It might not be as cut and dried as we thought.
It is also understood that the Sussexes are considering undertaking a tour to Africa in October as part of their new Commonwealth duties, possibly with their new baby.
Prince Harry’s appearance at the London Marathon on Sunday suggested to bookmakers the royal birth may not be imminent. The Duke of Sussex is pictured with the winner of the men’s marathon, Eliud Kipchoge, and women’s marathon, Brigid Kosgei, who are both from Kenya
The trip has long been pencilled in, although no detailed planning has started yet, as the couple want to wait until after their son or daughter is born before confirmation.
One source said it could be that Harry commits to travelling, with Meghan making a final decision much nearer the time.
This is partly due to the demands of a foreign trip and the fact that they will need to have childcare in place before they go.
It is also because of issues such as malaria which is prevalent in swathes of Africa, including Mozambique, Botswana and Tanzania, all of which are being considered.
10 facts about royal births as the wait for Baby Sussex continues
While the wait goes on for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, here are 10 facts about royal births:
1. Surgery at home
The Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – was born by Caesarean section in 1926. But the surgery took place in her grandparents’ home in Mayfair, rather than in a hospital.
2. The NHS
Lady Louise Windsor was the first of the Queen’s grandchildren to be born in an NHS hospital. She arrived prematurely following an emergency Caesarean after a seriously-ill eight months pregnant Countess of Wessex was rushed to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.
3. Natural births
The Duchess of Cambridge had a natural birth with all three of her children at the exclusive Lindo Wing – and a team of 23 medical staff were on hand in case of emergencies.
4. Kitchen delivery
The Duke of Edinburgh, then Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, was born on the kitchen table at his family home Mon Repos in Corfu.
5. Smuggled substitutes
Prince Charles’s birth in 1948 was the first time in centuries that there was not a government minister there to witness the arrival of a future heir to the throne. It was an age-old custom designed to ensure that no substitute baby had been smuggled in in a warming pan or similar receptacle.
6. The shadow side of marriage
Queen Victoria – who had nine offspring – used to refer to childbearing as ‘the shadow side of marriage’ or ‘die Schattenseite’. Her first babies were born before anaesthetics were available.
7. Battles over birth pain
Victoria used chloroform for later births, sniffing it from a handkerchief. When it was first pioneered, traditionalists opposed the drug, claiming labour pain was responsible for a woman’s love for her child, and sufferings during childbirth were a divine destiny. But Victoria refused to believe such a notion, and her support for the ‘blessed’ method and its ‘soothing, quieting and delightful beyond measure’ effect ensured its accepted use in society.
8. Induced births
The Princess of Wales was induced with Prince William, with Diana telling friends her baby was ready and ‘well cooked’. Her labour was difficult and she was continually sick, with doctors considering a Caesarean. Future king William was eventually born without a C-section after the princess was given an epidural.
9. Noisy crowds
After William arrived at the Lindo Wing in 1982, new father the Prince of Wales asked the rapturous crowds outside the hospital if they could make a little less noise.
10. Secret scans
In 1984, Diana knew Prince Harry was going to be a boy following a scan. But she did not tell husband Charles, fearing he wanted a girl, and kept the news secret throughout her pregnancy.