Tony Appleton

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Tony Appleton
Town crier Tony Appleton, Bury St Edmunds, UK - 20101128-01.jpg
Appleton in Bury St Edmunds, 2010
Born Circa 1936 (age 81–82)
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Town crier

Tony Appleton (born circa 1936/1937) is a British town crier who is most notable for his unofficial announcements of royal events such as the birth of Prince George of Cambridge in 2013.

Early life

Appleton served in the Royal Navy during the Suez Crisis and the Korean War upon HMS Implacable, and first met Queen Elizabeth II as a seventeen-year-old seaman during a royal inspection of the ship. After leaving the navy, Appleton dredged diamonds in Southern Africa and later owned a carpet shop. Appleton also owns a care home in Chelmsford, Essex.[1]

Career as a crier

Appleton later trained as a toastmaster and has opened events in Milan, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas. Appleton recalls being told by a young child at a fete opening that "he looked like a town crier", and having "never looked back" since then. In the early 2000s, Appleton became the official town crier of Romford in East London.[1] Appleton cites himself as the President of the Guild of International Millennium Town Criers on his website.[2] Appleton later had official crier duties at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the 2012 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.[2]

Despite having no formal royal role, Appleton is most famous for his unofficial announcements of royal births and other events. Appleton gained international fame in 2013 by announcing the birth of Prince George of Cambridge from the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. Appleton, who describes himself as a royalist, stated that he arrived at the hospital unannounced and did not expect to be allowed onto the steps of the hospital to announce the birth. Despite his lack of royal role, American journalists Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow aired his announcements on their shows describing him as a royal crier; Maddow later issued a correction.[3]

In May 2015, Appleton announced the birth of Princess Charlotte, Prince George's sister, from the same place as he had announced Prince George's birth. In an interview with Us Weekly, Appleton stated that in contrast to his earlier announcement, the royal entourage was expecting his attendance outside the hospital.[4] Later in that year, Appleton announced from the gates of Buckingham Palace that Elizabeth II had surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch of Britain.[5] In November 2017, Appleton – again in an unofficial capacity – announced the engagement of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle from the gates of Kensington Palace in London.[6]

Appleton returned to public attention in April 2018, when he announced the birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge from the steps of St Mary's Hospital.[7] Appleton's announcement was once again assumed official by American news outlets, with CBS Morning News, who broadcast the announcement live, describing Appleton's announcement as "official" on the air and over the official CBS News Twitter account.[7]

The Independent journalist Jon Stone compared Appleton's unofficial role to the presence of bishops in the House of Lords and the inability of Members of Parliaments to officially resign their seats in the House of Commons, whereas Huffington Post UK journalist Jess Brammar compared Appleton to the role of Black Rod and the corresponding spectacle relating to Black Rod's invitation to MPs to the annual Speech from the Throne.[7]

Autobiography

In 2016, Appleton's autobiography, titled Now or Never, was published.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b Walker, Tim (28 November 2017). "Tony Appleton: unofficial town crier to the royal family (and star of US TV)". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Wright, Jessica (23 July 2013). "Town crier Tony Appleton delivers news of a future king". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  3. ^ "Town crier's cameo in royal birth drama draws global interest". Global News. Associated Press. 24 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Town Crier Tony Appleton Announces Birth of Princess: "How Wonderful!"". Us Weekly. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "Crowds gather to watch town crier Tony Appleton proclaims the record breaking reign of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace". ABC News Australia. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  6. ^ "American newscasters were fooled by this man dressed as a town crier — but he has nothing to do with Prince Harry or Meghan Markle". Business Insider. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c "US news shows town crier's "official" announcement of royal baby birth – except he's not official at all". Radio Times. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  8. ^ Appleton, Tony (2016). Now Or Never. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781537515120. Retrieved 7 June 2018. 
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