Bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering odds of 50/1 that Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian will give birth on the same day after St James’s Palace confirmed today that the Royal baby is due in July.
If they give birth in the same week the odds are slashed to 7/1, and if Kate Middleton’s baby arrives first punters can expect odds of 6/1 (until Kim Kardashian announces her birth date).
Paddy Power is offering better odds on the famous mothers “doing the double” at 66/1 and a spokesman for the bookmakers said: “If both Kate and Kim do the double the world’s media will have a baby bonanza on their hands and a right royal fight will be had over those all-important first pictures.
“It’s altogether more likely though that Kate will reign supreme in a solo effort and that we’ll all be wetting the baby’s head sometime late July.”
A spokesman for Ladbrokes adds: “As the two of the most popular women in the world all eyes are on Kim and Kate until July but we fancy Kate to start pushing first!”
The palace has also confirmed that the couple are not expecting twins, as first speculated following Kate’s hospitalization for severe morning sickness in the earlier stages of the pregnancy.
“Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in July,” a St James’s Palace spokesman said this morning.
Kate Middleton is now believed to be 13-14 weeks pregnant.
Meanwhile Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kanye West are keeping mum about the arrival date of their first child and Kim has started to choose looser outfits in place of her signature bodycon dresses.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering odds of 50 to 1 that Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian will give birth on the same day
Kim Kardashian, 32, is convinced she is having a girl though and has reportedly already named her “Liv”.
Elsewhere excitement amongst punters over the royal baby has left one bookmaker counting the cost.
William Hill has said it has taken a hit after the announcement today.
July had been the even money favorite with the firm and its odds now suggest that the baby could be born in the third or fourth week of that month – both offered at 9/4.
A spokesman for William Hill said: “The royal baby is starting to cost us a small fortune, we have already paid out on the year and now the month that the baby will be born.
“We can only hope that they don’t have a baby with ginger hair as that would break the bank.”
Punters are now likely to place a flurry of bets trying to guess which name Prince William and Kate Middleton will choose for their baby.
Amongst the favorites with William Hill are George, Victoria and Diana, all 10/1, followed by Elizabeth 12/1 and Charles, John and Phillip, all 14/1.
Whichever name is chosen is likely to spark a new trend for that moniker.
The bookmaker is offering odds of 4/6 for a caesarean birth and 11/10 for natural. For the baby’s gender the odds are 10/11, for male or female.
Royal fans can even bet on hair color – brown 6/4, blonde 2/1, black 7/2 and ginger 4/1, shortened from 8/1.
Paddy Power is offering odds of 66/1 that Kate Middleton and reality TV star Kim Kardashian will give birth on the same day.
A spokesman for the bookmakers said: “If both Kate and Kim do the double, the world’s media will have a baby bonanza on their hands and a right royal fight will be had over those all-important first pictures.”
It appears the arrival of their first grandchild has been seen by Kate Middleton’s parents as a marvellous business opportunity.
They are promoting a range of baby goods on the Party Pieces website – with paper plates decorated with a blue or pink crown and the words “A New Little Prince” and “A New Little Princess”.
The Middletons are self-made New Money, and that is something to be admired. The skilful promotion of Party Pieces, which Carole Middleton founded 25 years ago, making up children’s party bags on her kitchen table, has catapulted them from humble beginnings in a modest semi-detached house, and from their meager salaried existence – she as a British Airways hostess, he as a BA dispatcher – to multi-millionaire dom.
When their eldest daughter began going out with Prince William, the Middletons had to brave social wisecracks about their former jobs. Yet they have nothing to be ashamed of: they represent the sort of aspirational and hard-working enterprise that Britain desperately needs more of.
But the marriage of their daughter into the Royal Family – and her future as the Queen consort of Britain, a delicately sensitive constitutional role – calls for discretion and careful judgment on their part.
Exploiting the impending birth of Kate Middleton’s baby, who will one day occupy the throne, in order to sell paper plates at £1.69 ($2.6) for a packet of eight, is not showing discretion or good judgment.
Miniature castles, “Prince” and “Princess” banners are among the other royal baby-themed products. A message on the firm’s website proclaims: “It’s a great occasion to celebrate before the new arrival, inviting family and friends along.” Such a celebration allows “other mothers to share their wisdom and own knowledge of becoming a mother”.
It’s hard to believe it did not occur to the Middletons that this would be seen as a cynical attempt to cash in on their daughter’s pregnancy.
It is not as if they need the money. Conservative estimates by City analysts put the value of Party Pieces at £40 million ($60 million). They own a £4.7 million ($7.2 million) seven-bedroom Georgian house in Berkshire, set in 18 acres of landscaped grounds, and a £1.6 million ($2.5 million) Chelsea flat.
The arrival of their first grandchild has been seen by Kate Middleton’s parents as a marvelous business opportunity as they are promoting a range of baby goods
Since Kate Middleton’s elevation to the ranks of royalty, the sales of products marketed by their company have escalated hugely. A lucrative licensing deal with the multi-millionaire teen idol Justin Bieber to sell a range of merchandise opened the door to vast worldwide income.
And the party plates are not the first instance of the Middletons facing accusations of cashing in on their royal connections.
Before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, courtiers became uneasy when Party Pieces launched a “Britannia” range, including royal trivia scratch cards.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee offered further possibilities. The company marketed Jubilee plates, bunting and balloons.
One set of plates bore a silver unicorn, like that on the royal coat of arms, and the date, 1952, the year of the Queen’s accession.
Other plates featured a Queen-style figure wearing a crown and the words: “Hope and Glory Tea and Scones”. Among other items were state carriage-shaped cardboard teapot vases, cups with coats of arms and the words “Long Live G&T” and canapé flags featuring crown-wearing corgies.
Concern was also generated by the business activities of Kate Middleton’s 25-year-old brother, Edinburgh University drop-out James Middleton, whose company specializes in selling adult-themed cakes with personalized bawdy messages that are unlikely to find their way on to the tea table at Buckingham Palace.
These have included “Boob-licious jiggly jugs” and “A willy that wriggles and gives me the giggles”. A Sexy Hubby cake displays a cartoon man with an arrow pointing to his private parts and the caption: “Weapon of mass seduction.”
Eyebrows rose still further when James Middleton was photographed baring his buttocks, and cross-dressing in the outfit of a French maid, one of the tackier items on the Party Pieces website, available in their Adult Occasions section at £14.99 ($23).
The company is even marketing, at £27.99 ($43), an inflatable sumo outfit, the same one that Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, recently revealed their father Michael once wore to enliven the family’s Christmas festivities in Berkshire.
The thrusting business enterprise of the Middletons has several times landed them in trouble. Last year they were obliged to amend their website over Games-themed goods after falling foul of strict advertising laws covering the London Olympics.
They were also accused by Britain’s Got Talent of illegally using its logo, and two months ago were forced by the Broccoli family to remove from their website the James Bond Skyfall logo, which they were using without permission to advertise 007-themed goods under the heading “James Bond Secret Agent Party”.
But for many, it will be their apparent attempt to exploit their daughter’s pregnancy that will seem a step beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior. Turning the birth of their first royal grandchild into a part of their business empire is the sort of mercenary and undignified behavior they should have scrupulously avoided. It exposes them to criticism and, by extension, reflects badly on Kate Middleton.
Have they not learned from the spectacle of the Duchess of York trying to earn money in order to stay out of debt and involving herself in projects that were often tasteless?
The question is whether the Middletons, who have dined privately with the Queen at Windsor and accompanied her to Royal Ascot, can continue to walk the tightrope of combining a quasi-royal status with their booming empire or are destined to become a liability and embarrassment to their daughter and son-in-law.
Dismissing criticism of their activities in the past, Carole Middleton said: “At the end of the day we are running a business, not a charity. We don’t want to do anything that will embarrass Catherine but I feel as if we are caught between a rock and a hard place.”