LONDON – How long will Kate make William wait at the aisle? What color will the queen wear to the wedding? And will Harry be sober enough to deliver the best man’s speech?

As betting-happy Britons shell out on their favorite royal wedding-themed wagers, the country’s bookmakers hope to make a mint.

“In terms of royal betting, the wedding blows it out the window,” said Rupert Adams, a spokesman for bookmaker William Hill. “I think we will take the same amount as we’ve taken on royal betting in 30 years.”

The betting industry can be difficult to forecast, in part because most gamblers place their bets in the 24 hours preceding the event, but British bookmakers say that they could see more than $1.6 million worth of wagers on the royal wedding.

That’s small change compared to what’s bet on sports but a hefty sum by the standards of nearly everything else in Britain’s betting industry. For example, the figure is 10 times the amount typically staked on “The X Factor,” Britain’s most-watched TV talent show.

“As a nonsports event that will be second to only our pope-betting in 2005,” said Paddy Power spokesman Darren Haines, referring to the election that followed Pope John Paul II’s death in 2005.

Britons have been swapping bets on royal foibles for decades, but recent years have seen an expansion in the scope of the bets offered by mainstream bookmakers.

Coach strong: Paltrow will model handbags

NEW YORK – Gwyneth Paltrow is the new model for luxury handbag maker Coach, which she calls “the quintessential New York brand.”

But the new ads will appear exclusively overseas in select European and Asian markets, which the company has labeled key for expansion.

The first images will launch in the fall to coincide with Coach’s 70th-anniversary campaign.

Coach President and Executive Creative Director Reed Krakoff said Paltrow has the spirit, energy and elegance associated with Coach Inc.’s leather goods, footwear and jewelry.

Couric confirms plans to quit CBS anchor job

NEW YORK – Katie Couric confirmed that she is indeed leaving the ratings-basement “CBS Evening News,” less than five years after she became the first woman to lead a network TV evening newscast by herself.

Couric, 54, told People magazine for a story published on its website Tuesday that she hasn’t decided what she’s doing next, but that she is “looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling.”

The Associated Press reported three weeks ago that Couric’s tenure as CBS anchor would end just short of five years in the job. Her contract expires June 4.

CBS has not set an exit date but is expected to appoint Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” as her successor as early as next week.

Aflac duck gets new voice

NEW YORK – Aflac is betting a sales manager from Minnesota has the voice to drive the name “Aflac” into the recesses of your brain and keep it there.

Daniel McKeague, 36, a father of three from Hugo, Minn., beat out 12,500 other contestants to replace actor Gilbert Gottfried and become the new voice of the reinsurance company’s duck mascot.

Gottfried voiced Aflac’s duck for U.S. audiences for 11 years but was ousted in March after making insensitive remarks on Twitter about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which produces about 75 percent of Aflac’s revenue.