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Royal baby town crier left open-mouthed

BY NEIL LANCEFIELD

The town crier who announced the birth of the Prince of Cambridge has revealed he was "shocked" after international news channels described him as a royal official.

Tony Appleton's appearance in full costume at St Mary's Hospital in London was completely unannounced.

But his performance was so convincing that some reporters believed he was conducting an authorised role in proceedings.

In the US, CNN described him as "the royal crier delivering the royal news", while Fox News told viewers he was "the town crier making the official announcement".

Mr Appleton is a real town crier for Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds and Romford – but not for central London – and had no prior discussions with Kensington Palace before he became the focus of world attention. The hospital was under heavy security but police officers did not react as Mr Appleton made his way to the entrance for his big moment in the spotlight, which began with the words: "Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye."

Mr Appleton (76) from Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, said "I was shocked" after discovering the media coverage of his announcement.

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