4 May 2015

Charlotte, Alice favourites for royal baby name

8:44 am on 4 May 2015

Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, have shown off their baby daughter to relatives, as Britain eagerly awaits the announcement of the new princess's name.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, show their newly-born daughter to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, show their newly-born daughter to the media outside St Mary's Hospital in central London. Photo: AFP

Catherine's mother Carole Middleton and sister Pippa were the first to arrive at the the couple's Kensington palace apartment.

William's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla also visited the palace in central London, spending more than an hour with their new granddaughter.

 Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave Kensington Palace after an hour-long visit.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave Kensington Palace after an hour-long visit. Photo: AFP

The birth has proved a boon to the country's bookmakers who, having first offered odds on the child's likely sex, now turn their attention to names.

The new princess.

The new princess. Photo: AFP / Pool / John Stillwell

Charlotte became the new favourite with the bookmakers on Sunday, overtaking long-time favourite Alice.

Victoria and Elizabeth are also front runners while slightly longer odds are available on Diana, Eleanor and Alexandra.

Charlotte, the feminine form of Charles, has a long royal pedigree and became popular in the 18th century when it was the name of George III's queen.

Alice, the previous bookmakers' favourite, was the name of the Duke of Edinburgh's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg and of his great-grandmother, who was the third child of Queen Victoria.

However veteran royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Morning Report it would delightful Princess Elizabeth was chosen, though Charlotte would be "charming".

The duchess was admitted to the private Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, at 6am local time on Saturday.

The birth was announced by Clarence House on Twitter, but also with the traditional bulletin on a gilded easel outside Buckingham Palace - a practice that dates to 1837. Unofficial Town Crier Tony Appleton also announced the arrival of the new princess.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds her newly-born daughter.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds her newly-born daughter. Photo: AFP