The U.S. has baseball, the U.K. has betting.
Yes, Brits love any excuse to place a bet, and they usually don’t have to go far to do it. Even for those not inclined to bet online, the nearest high street almost certainly has at least one casino (even the local pub might have a slot machine). These are not the gold-encrusted, stale-smoke-filled affairs of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. They could just as easily be, say, a Verizon store.
So what could be more British than betting on the royal wedding? Within hours of the official announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement to American actor Meghan Markle, a whole slew of royal-wedding-related bets were available from the online gambling platform Betfair, from who will design Markle’s dress to whether it will rain on the yet-to-be-confirmed wedding day (talking about the weather may be the only pastime more popular than betting in the U.K.)
Alexander McQueen, whose creative director, Sarah Burton, designed Kate Middleton’s dress, leads the odds for dressmaker at 7 to 1, while U.K.-based fashion brand Reiss and Victoria Beckham share the longest odds at 40 to 1. Beckham also had the distinction of being the only person with odds both for designing the dress and performing at the wedding. David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who famously made Princess Diana’s wedding dress, were not given odds, despite Mr. Emanuel saying earlier this year to a British newspaper “[Markle] would be absolutely delicious to dress, let’s be honest…if she asked me to design her wedding dress, of course I’d absolutely love to do it.”
Another betting website, Ladbrokes, listed odds on Monday for the date of the wedding and various wedding-party members after announcing in September that will-they-won’t-they betting on the engagement was closed, calling the proposal “a matter of when not if.”