Tony Appleton has done it again. The unofficial town crier of England, Appleton was there to announce the birth of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge's second child Saturday morning, as he had been there to announce the first. The position of town crier in England originated in medieval times as a result of the fact that the majority of the townspeople in the country could not read or write. Proclamations, new laws, and other news were read by a royally appointed official who wrote up and delivered the message before posting in on the door of the town’s inn. “Hear ye” was the call used to gain the townspeople’s attention.
— Jennifer Peros (@jenperos) May 2, 2015
Criers were also sometimes called “bellmen” as their proclamations were often accompanied by the ringing of a bell. It was also common for the Crier to work in tandem with his wife who would ring the bell beside him as he read the royal messages.
In 2013, Royal Crier Appleton stood outside St. Mary’s Hospital in London to proclaim the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s – first baby, Prince George. However, despite his role as the official town crier, Appleton had not been invited by the royal family personally and showed up on his own accord to make the big announcement.
Appleton, known as the unofficial town crier, again was there for the birth of the couple's first daughter on Saturday to make the announcement. The baby was "safely delivered," according to a statement from the palace. The palace has not yet confirmed whether or not Appleton was invited this time.
The unofficial town crier, who hails from Chelmsford, Exxes, made headlines when he said in 2013 that he "just crashed the party,” in an interview with 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 simply wrote down what he had to say to be sure it went according to tradition as the royal crier. While he says 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 at the time.
Appleton, who runs a home for the elderly, said he also waited outside Buckingham Palace in 2011 for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton to fill the tradition of the town crier. His interest in the royal family, though, extends far back from the royal wedding. Appleton said he became infatuated with the British monarchy when he met the Queen as a child while she was on a royal walkabout. "I love the royal family, I love them to bits,” he said.