Mary has been revealed as the new favourite name for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child.
The royal baby is expected to arrive in April and bookmakers had previously placed their bets on the baby being named Alice if it is a girl and Arthur if a boy.
But a spike in support from gamblers in the north west of England saw Mary rising to the top spot in the royal baby name market, according to Ladbrokes.
Odds are now 7/1 on Mary, having been slashed from 20/1.
Former favourite Alice now sits in the second spot at 8/1, along with Victoria.
While Albert and Arthur are joint at 12/1, if the baby is a boy.
Should she be named Mary, the baby will follow in the footsteps of a series of royals.
Mary is one of the Queen’s middle names, and it was also her grandmother’s name – Queen Mary – who was Mary of Teck and married to George V.
The baby would also share her moniker with two Marys on the throne – Mary I, known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants, and Mary II, who ruled jointly as monarch with her Dutch husband William III.
And the baby would become the second Princess Mary of Cambridge following Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the mother of Queen Mary.
Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “We can’t quite put our finger on the link between Mary and the North West, but the overwhelming support means we have a new favourite in the royal baby name market.”
She added: “Punters are convinced the Duke and Duchess are expecting another little girl, and obviously it would be a lovely touch to honour Her Majesty’s Grandmother, but it will be interesting to see if any boys’ names are backed over the coming weeks before the birth.”
Mary has steadily fallen out of fashion over the last century. In 1904, it was the most popular name given to girls in England and Wales.
But it not longer appears in the list of top 100 girls’ names in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.