On the Paddy Power betting website, more than $325,000 hinged on a single unborn baby.

When will it arrive? What will its name be? The shortest odds were on (1) this week and (2) Diana.

But isn’t it kind of icky to put money down on a woman’s pregnancy? Even if that woman is Meghan Markle, arguably the most famous American in Britain, and definitely the best-known actress turned duchess there? Even if the baby is a Royal Baby?

“The idea of tens of thousands of strangers voting on the sex of your unborn baby is frankly bizarre, but it’s part of the buildup to a royal birth and an acceptable part of the narrative,” said Katie Nicholl, who comments on the royals for a living and wrote a book titled “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love.”

She added: “It’s generally seen as harmless fun, and an age-old tradition that’s synonymous with royal births.”

“It’s not college basketball or the Super Bowl, but it’s a bit of fun,” he said. “Royal babies are big news in the U.K., but people are excited about this one in particular.”

That’s why Tilletts, a jeweler in Norwich, is marking the birth by charging $5,500 for a jar of diaper rash cream. The lid is made of silver, engraved with the British and American flags and set with diamonds, inspired by “the sparkling warmth and charm of Meghan’s personality,” according to the company.

In the child’s first five years, the Center for Retail Research expects nearly $800 million in spending on Sussex-inspired children’s wear and infant products. In the first two years, more than $130 million of those purchases will come from the United States.

But Ms. Markle will not be in seclusion. In the waning weeks of the pregnancy, the Sussexes started an Instagram account, which they used to ask well-wishers to donate to charities rather than send baby gifts. The account garnered a million followers in less than six hours, far faster than the previous record holders: Pope Francis and the K-pop star Kang Daniel, according to Guinness World Records.



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