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Baby absolutely beautiful - Harry

Prince Harry has described the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's daughter as "absolutely beautiful" as her doting grandparents visited the baby princess for the first time.

Harry spoke movingly about his niece from Australia where he has been working with the country's armed forces and said he could not "wait to meet her".

The Cambridges also thanked well-wishers for their support following the birth of their daughter who was born yesterday at 8.34am, weighing 8lbs 3oz.

William and Kate have kept the world guessing as to the name of their second child but are likely to have told the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Michael and Carole Middleton when they visited Kensington Palace to see their granddaughter.

In the coming days the Cambridges will return to their Norfolk home, close to the Queen's Sandringham estate, and may be waiting until they have told the monarch personally before announcing the name.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess are hugely grateful for the messages of congratulations they have received from people all over the world.

"It means a great deal to them that so many people have celebrated the arrival of their new daughter.''

He added: "Additionally Prince Harry has said about his new niece: 'She is absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to meet her'."

Harry will probably not see his niece for around a fortnight as after his attachment with the Australian Defence Force ends later this week he will tour New Zealand for eight days.

Charles has made no secret of the fact he wanted his second grandchild to be a girl.

And the heir to the throne wasted no time in meeting his granddaughter, arriving at Kensington Palace behind the wheel of an Audi estate car with Camilla in the passenger seat beside him.

The royal couple joined Mrs Middleton and her daughter Pippa, and were soon followed by Michael Middleton.

The Cambridges' daughter is fourth in line to the throne, will be affectionately known as the spare to the heir and is the Queen's fifth great grandchild.

Yesterday the baby princess took part in her first photocall outside hospital, and delighted the world as she slept in the arms of her mother.

The wait for the baby's name to be announced has sparked a betting frenzy among royal fans trying to guess the moniker.

The favourite name among bookies has changed repeatedly in recent days with Alice and Charlotte among those fancied but Elizabeth and Olivia also proving popular.

William Hill has seen six figures wagered on the royal baby's name since the princess was born and believes across the industry the figure could reach a million pounds by the end of today.

The betting firm's spokesman, Rupert Adams, said Alice was once again its favourite at 5/2, followed by Charlotte 3/1, Victoria 11/2, Olivia 6/1, Elizabeth 7/1 and Diana 9/1.

He said: ''Our turnover on the royal baby markets is chasing towards the £200,000 mark - which suggests that the industry will hit £1 million by the close of play.''

For bookmakers Coral, Alice is the favourite at 3/1 while the odds have been slashed on second place Charlotte from 5/2 to 5/1.

Coral spokeswoman Nicola McGeady said: ''The gamble on Charlotte is showing no signs of slowing down and although Alice will be the worst result for us, Charlotte will also prove very costly following the amount of bets we've taken on it.''

Jessica Bridge from Ladbrokes said the betting markets during the last 24 hours had been ''total mayhem'' and the names Charlotte and Alice were now the joint favourites at 3/1, followed by Victoria 5/1 and Elizabeth 6/1.

She added: ''Bookies all over the UK are hoping and praying for any name other than Alice, Charlotte, Victoria, Elizabeth, Olivia, Alexandra or Diana.''

Gun salutes will be fired in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London tomorrow afternoon to mark the birth.


From Belfast Telegraph