LONDON  - Will it be a girl called Alexandra, or a boy called Wayne? No one outside Buckingham Palace knows but it has not stopped punters from around the world betting on Britain’s royal baby.

Bookmakers say they expect that wagers on the arrival of Prince William and Catherine’s first child will outstrip those for the couple’s wedding in 2011, previously the biggest market for so-called novelty bets.

There is a right royal choice of odds ranging from the future monarch’s sex, weight and hair colour to even whether Kate will be “too posh to push” and have a caesarean.

“It’s a global market,” Joe Crilly, a spokesman for British bookies William Hill, told AFP. “British people love the royal family and so do people around the world.” The big money is on the baby’s name, which Crilly said people had been betting on with “full gusto.”

Traditional names head the list, led by Alexandra and followed by Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana and Victoria when it comes to girls’ names, and George, James and Louis for boys.

Alexandra is Queen Elizabeth II’s middle name, Charlotte is the middle name of Kate’s sister Pippa and the name of King George III’s wife, while Victoria would honour Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Unlikelier choices include Hashtag, the Twitter term on which Irish bookmaker Paddy Power took a bet at 500/1, and Wayne and Waynetta, after the slobby characters in a British television comedy, at 250/1 and 500/1 respectively. Punters can also get odds of 5,000/1 on Psy, after the South Korean pop star, or North, the name of rapper Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s new baby.

“We are seeing a tug of war with a quite modern couple like William and Kate on one hand but they have a royal family to appease, 1,000 years of tradition and they don’t want to upset the queen,” Rory Scott, a spokesman for Paddy Power, told AFP.

Girls’ names dominate the odds because punters seem convinced the royal baby will be a girl, after Kate reportedly nearly let it slip during a public appearance earlier this year.