The third royal baby is finally here! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a baby boy, whose name has not yet been revealed, on the morning of April 23. Although Kensington Palace tweeted the happy news, one person took it upon himself to announce the much-anticipated birth, and that’s the town crier.
Tony Appleton appeared on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London and rang a bell while shouting, “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez,” which means “hear ye.” Appleton announced the births of Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two, as well.
Check him out in action in the video below from AP Entertainment:
IT'S A BOY!: Town crier announces birth of new royal prince for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pic.twitter.com/55aYAS6djO
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) April 23, 2018
Appleton is not affiliated with the royal family in any official capacity. However, as an “independent town crier,” he has made it his business to be there to announce their important milestones. “I just turn up,” he told the UK’s Guardian. “Sometimes the police ask me to stop ringing my bell. But I’m a flipping town crier!”
He has used his impressive pipes to make announcements all over the world, including in Milan, Amsterdam and Las Vegas.
“Every proclamation I make is important to me, whether it is a friend, a company, or a member of the royal family,” the 81-year-old Appleton told Town & Country. “They all deserve my best efforts to celebrate good news.”
He fills the role of town crier in Bury St. Edmunds, a town in Suffolk, and in Romford, part of the outer London Borough of Havering. He also owns a small elderly care home in Great Baddow in Essex.
The role of a town crier originated when literacy was not yet widespread. There are actually still 200 official town criers in the U.K., despite the fact that their services have been rendered obsolete in today’s society.
Appleton told the Guardian that he has met Queen Elizabeth II twice: Once as a 17-year-old in the military when she came on board the HMS Implacable and once at her 90th birthday celebration. Truly, he is a piece of living history!
If you’re hoping to catch this quirky gentleman in all his glory again, he is expected to be on hand to make an announcement for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19. Hear ye!