The Man Who Trolled the World: British ‘Town Crier’

'Town Crier' Tony Appleton
‘Town Crier’ Tony Appleton

Yes, he stole the show! This British royalist literally trolled the world and fooled global media by royally hijacking the announcement of Britain’s royal baby.

The problem is, British subject Tony Appleton’s widely reported announcement of the birth of the prince of Cambridge didn’t have the royal seal of approval.

He announced, while clanging a bell: “Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. On this day, the 22nd of July, the year 2013, we welcome with honorable duty a future king. The first born of the Royal Highness, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The third in line to the throne. Our new prince is the third great-grandchild of Her Majesty the Queen and the first grandchild of the royal highness the Prince of Wales. May he be long lived, happy and glorious and one day to reign over us. God save the Queen.”

Good job, Mr. Appleton!

Here’s a report from

Bell in one hand, scroll in the other, Tony Appleton marked Monday’s royal birth by belting out an old-timey proclamation which began “Oyez, Oyez” and announced the arrival of “the first born of their royal highness, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”

Appleton is in fact a crier, but in Romford, a commuter town just east of London, and in Bury St. Edmunds, a market town in southeastern England — not Buckingham Palace. In interview, he said Wednesday that he simply showed up in costume after getting a tipoff from a British journalist that the Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Prince William’s wife Kate, had given birth.

“I’m a royalist. I love the royal family,” he said by telephone from Romford, but he acknowledged he had no official royal role. “I came unannounced.”

That didn’t stop him from playing a bizarre cameo role on leading U.S. newscasts in the media frenzy surrounding the baby’s birth, nor did it prevent confused American journalists from identifying him as a bona fide mouthpiece for Buckingham Palace.

Among the American TV presenters fooled include CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Appleton admitted he merely crashed the royal baby celebration. Here’s another report from IBTimes:

“I was not invited, I just crashed the party,” he told Yahoo. “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.”

Appleton said a journalist from the Times wrote down what he had to say to be sure it went according to tradition as the royal crier.

But though he has been the royal town crier for 25 years, he’s still shocked to see his face on newspapers and websites worldwide. “I can’t believe it, I’ve opened up the newspapers and my face is all over them,” he said.


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