'Town crier' who announced Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle is 100% fake

Image: Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock

England, with its quirky traditions and old-fashioned customs, is a land of endless fascination for outsiders, nominally for people from the former colony of the U.S.

So it's understandable why a town crier — with his elaborate, red and gold robed dress and tricorn hat — attracted people's attention on social media when he was depicted in an ABC News video as he announces the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement outside of Buckingham Palace:

"Oyez, oyez, oyz!" He yells in the video. "Buckingham Palace is proud to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. God save the Queen!"?

It can't get any more British than this.?

Business Insider posted a similar video, calling him "the Royal Town Crier":

However, it turns out the eccentric guy is not officially appointed by the Queen, nor is he a real town crier. His real name is Tony Appleton, from Romford, east London, and he's been making royal announcements for years, bell and scroll on hand.?

In 2013, he fooled prominent American broadcasters including Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper when he announced the birth of Prince William and Kate's firstborn, Prince George, outside St. Mary's Hospital.

"I'm a royalist. I love the royal family," he told AP, while acknowledging he had no official royal role. "I came unannounced."

Still, many Americans fell for it:?