Town crier steals the show

Jul 24, 2013, 09:54 IST | Agencies

When traditionally-dressed Tony Appleton made his announcement on the steps of the Lindo Wing many onlookers thought he had been employed by the royal family; but, he later said he gatecrashed the party

Decked out in all his pomp and finery town crier Tony Appleton brought a touch of tradition to the media melee when he announced the royal birth. And he hadn’t even been invited. Clanging a bell before booming ‘Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye’ the 76-year-old took wellwishers and journalists gathered outside St Mary’s Hospital by surprise.

Hear ye, hear ye: Tony Appleton announces the birth of the royal baby boy. Pic/Getty Images

He declared: “On this day, the 22nd of July, the year 2013, we welcome with honorable duty a future king.” Tony, from Chelmsford, Essex, said he was stunned by how the world had reacted to his role in the announcement. “I can’t believe it, I’ve opened up the newspapers and my face is all over them,” he said. 

“I was not invited, I just crashed the party. I got out of my cab and I stood in front of the steps, because I didn’t think I would be allowed on them, and did my bit. It was great. It was a great atmosphere, it’s like the Olympics.” He said a journalist wrote down what he had to say to make sure he stuck to tradition. Tony, who has been a town crier 25 years and also runs an elderly home, has endeavoured to be part of the Prince William and Kate’ marriage from the start.

He waited outside Buckingham Palace for several hours during the royal wedding to get a glimpse of the royal couple and proclaim their marriage again in the tradition of a town crier. But his fondness for the royal family started much earlier when he met the Queen Mother as a child during a royal walkabout.

He said: “I love the royal family, I love them to bits.” And he even has a few words of advice for the new parents: “Have some more children! I’m waiting for the next one to do it again.” And how did he celebrate the royal birth? At the pub with a beer.

“Everyone is out celebrating, the champagne and beer is flowing, there’s a real buzz,” he said from the pub. “This has brought us back together, like during the Olympics, everyone is smiling again.”  Appleton will be back at Buckingham Palace for the official proclamation.

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