People wearing face masks of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photograph outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England (Source: PTI)

Will Prince Harry Shave? What Color Will the Queen’s Hat Be? Everyone’s Betting on the Royal Wedding

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(Bloomberg) -- As chatter in the U.S. swirls around the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday freeing states to legalize sports betting, some gamblers have their sights on an event this coming weekend that’s not a sport at all.

On Saturday, May 19, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to be wed in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the U.K. To bank a bit of cash or just have a little fun, bettors are placing all kinds of weird wagers on the wedding.

British bookies, including William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes tend to take bets on pretty much anything, from election results to who’ll be the next James Bond. In 2011, it was all about the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Wagers on royal baby names are particularly popular—in the weeks running up to the latest royal birth in April, betting was suspended after flurries of action for the names Mary, Albert and Arthur. The couple ended up naming him Louis. Oh, well.

But there are new variables to make money on when it comes to the impending nuptials. According to William Hill, wagering on all things royal this year could top 4 million pounds ($5.4 million). You can bet on such things as whether or not the Prince will get married in a uniform, or whether he will have a beard on his big day.

No? Well, you could also put your chips down on the likelihood that the bride says the word “obey” in her vows, or shows up more than five minutes late. For those with an inexplicable gut feeling that Queen Elizabeth will wear a turquoise hat, it may be worth a few bucks …

… or will she don a pink hat? Cream? Apricot? Your friends can put some money on that, too.

For those of you interested in the royal hat question, here is the current breakdown:

Who is going to sing the first song? Will the couple select a timeless artist such as Elton John or Paul McCartney? Perhaps some modern pop from Ed Sheeran or Ellie Goulding?  If, for some reason, you think Kanye West will materialize out of nowhere with a microphone in his hands, someone’s willing to take that bet at 100-to-1.

Rumors about Markle’s wedding dress have persisted for months, leading to some gaming drama. Bookies halted bets on the gown designer multiple times in February and March after activity surged. The dress and its designer remain a closely guarded secret, but the front-runner is fashion label Ralph & Russo, which closed as the even-money favorite.

It’s not legal to gamble this way in much of the U.S., though, and reputable operators won’t take illegal bets. Though no one’s sitting on a couch in Alabama betting on a wedding, surely some Americans vacationing abroad will plop down a few bucks.

William Hill said a lot of bets came in Monday that the Queen will be wearing a green hat.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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