The regally attired town crier looked and sounded official but wasn't
Credit: Stephen Lock/iImages/Polaris

Hear ye, hear ye: It was all a joke!

The British do love royal pomp and circumstance, but the seemingly official town crier who stepped forth to deliver the news outside of St. Mary’s Hospital in London Tuesday that the Duchess of Cambridge had delivered a son was nothing of the kind – not an official town crier, that is.

The red-coated, tri-cornered hat-wearing loud mouth has admitted he’s a fake – a crier in Romford, a commuter town just east of London, and in Bury St. Edmunds, a market town in southeastern England who has nothing to do with Buckingham Palace.

But he fooled the world’s media, who were desperate for baby news and captured his every resplendent inflection.

“I’m a royalist. I love the royal family,” Tony Appleton, 76, told the Associated Press. “I came unannounced.”

Appleton reportedly refers to himself as the “town crier” and apparently did the same staged announcing at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton two years ago.

He told radio station KJR in Seattle that he makes a living doing his town crier act for business advertising and promotions. “I decided I wanted to be the first person in the world who announced that birth. I’m the world’s biggest gate-crasher,” Appleton said, laughing.

“I’m an official town crier, but I wasn’t employed by the Palace,” he said, adding that he’s not yet heard from anyone in the Royal Family expressing displeasure.