Bookmakers cash in on royal wedding flutters

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Bookmakers cash in on royal wedding flutters

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Bookmakers in the UK are looking forward to a bumper week as punters place their bets for the royal wedding.

Britons bet on anything and everything, from sports results to the weather and a royal wedding provides an ideal chance to make a fun wager with betting shops. A spokesman for betting chain Ladbrokes told AFP: “If it’s not exciting enough for viewers at home, we’re giving them the chance of an additional thrill on the big day.”

People can place bets on almost all aspects of the wedding. “So far the most popular bet is that Kate will make Wills wait at the altar, followed by Kate plumping for a train of less than eight feet (2.4 metres),” says Rupert Adams of bookmakers William Hill.

The colour of the Queen’s hat is a staple bet at the Royal Ascot horse races. Yellow is the favourite for the wedding day at odds of 5-4.

The first dance will also be under scrutiny. The hottest-tipped bet with Ladbrokes is Elton John’s “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” at 6-1. At William Hill it’s James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” at 5-1.

Then there are the novelty bets. The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, is 8-1 to fall asleep during the ceremony while Kate’s mother is at 2-1 to be the first person in Westminster Abbey to cry. Elton John is second favourite to shed a tear at 8-1.

At Paddy Power bookmakers, you can find odds of 22-1 on William splitting his trousers at some point during the day, while best man Prince Harry is 25-1 to forget the ring.

Put a pound on Kate not turning up at all and you will win 100 pounds plus your stake back.

Bookies are expected to rake in around one million pounds (1.1 million euros) on wedding special bets but gambling always carries a risk. One woman placed £6,000 on Kate wearing the George III tiara worn by the Queen at her own wedding. Such high stakes always make bookies nervous as they fear insider knowledge. If she’s right she’ll be walking out of a chain of Ladbrokes £72,000 richer.