As the president of BAFTA, Prince William has plenty of opportunity to attend movie premieres, but it seems like his presence alongside Kate Middleton at Thursday night’s London premiere of Top Gun: Maverick was personal. At the premiere, Tom Cruise made a few statements that prove exactly how close he and William really are.
At first blush, the future King of England and the action star might not have much in common, but according to Cruise, they are actually very similar. According to MyLondon, he listed a few of their shared attributes. “We have a lot in common,” said Cruise. “We both love England and we’re both aviators, we both love flying.” William trained in the armed forces as a helicopter pilot, and Cruise, who plays an ace pilot in the films, did actually get his pilot’s license in 1994.
Exactly when Cruise fell in love with England is unclear, but according to the Telegraph, the actor “loves the royals.” He put that affection into action on Sunday when he hosted a telecast for “A Gallop Through History,” a pageant at the Royal Windsor Horse Show celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, alongside Helen Mirren.
Cruise’s royal love might date back to his first meeting with William’s mother, Princess Diana, at the July 1992 London premiere of “Far and Away.” Photographs from the event show Diana, wearing a navy and yellow Catherine Walker dress, shaking hands with Cruise as his co-star and then-wife Nicole Kidman looks on. He was later a guest at Diana’s Westminster Abbey funeral in September 1997.
Another clue to Cruise’s love of England came last summer during the Euro Cup soccer tournament. According to England midfielder Harry Kane, Cruise is a huge soccer fan and actually FaceTimed the team before their final match. “We actually had Tom Cruise get in touch yesterday evening,” Kane told BBC Radio. “You get everyone who loves football.” According to Express, a fan caught Kate, William, and Prince George beaming at Cruise from a distance and the final match in London’s Wembley Stadium.
The friendship was furthered last month when Cruise reportedly invited the couple to see a sneak preview of the film at the Leicester Square theater. At the time, The Sun reported that they were joined by Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, at the private screening. “Tom welcomed them and said he hoped they’d enjoy watching it as much as he’d enjoyed making it, and left them to it,” a source told the tabloid. “Apparently, it was met with royal approval—not least because William has been a military pilot himself so it’s pretty close to his heart.”
After news of the private screening came out, Darren McGrady, a chef who worked at Buckingham Palace for 10 years, said on Twitter that Diana later took Prince Harry and William to visit Cruise on the set of Mission: Impossible, some of which was filmed in the U.K., adding that the visit made Diana believe she would not be able to date Cruise. “I remember Princess Diana taking the boys to the set of Mission Impossible and to meet Tom Cruise,” McGrady wrote. “Wills and Harry loved the pyrotechnics. But Princess Diana… ‘That’s another one off the list, Darren. He’s too short!’”
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