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.
Mr Appleton said today: "I was planning this for two weeks like a military operation."I went to London with my uniform on and stayed in a hotel."
After receiving a tip-off from a journalist that the Duchess had given birth, he got in a taxi and asked the driver to drop him off at the entrance to the hospital.
"I stood on the pavement and did my proclamation. The press shouted at me to get on the steps."
Mr Appleton, 76, from Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, said "I was shocked" after discovering the media coverage of his announcement.
He has received phone calls from America, Japan, Dubai and Holland since the Royal birth on Monday.
"I'm on so many front pages," he added.
He insisted he did not tell anyone he was acting in an official capacity.
"I was there on my own steam," he said.
"I turned up to do the job and went away.
"It was a bit of fun and it told the world what had happened."
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