Tom Cruise’s interactions with Kate Middleton at the royal-benefit premiere of his Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, have divided opinions on social media, with some users hailing him as a “gentleman”, while others claiming the royals failed to prevent the movie star to hold her hand.
Kate and William attended the premiere on Thursday in London’s Leicester Square, marking the 72nd Royal Film Performance raising money for The Film and TV Charity, of which Queen Elizabeth II is a patron.
When the royals arrived on the red carpet, which featured a fighter jet model, they were greeted by Cruise, who escorted them to meet other cast and crew members.
In a TikTok video posted by user mrstevenhargrave, the royals are shown meeting on a cruise ship, above which a narration reads “Tom expects no one except a future king.”
The star is shown nodding as William and Kate approach before William introduces his wife to Cruise and greets the actor.
A subsequent move by Cruise sparked an online discussion after he offered to hold Kate’s hand as she walked up a flight of stairs to greet a line of cast members. The duchess wore a figure-hugging black and white evening gown with high heels and video footage of her shows her accepting the gesture that users have called “gentleman” online.
Others have suggested that Kate wasn’t all that thrilled about the offer, as after walking up a flight of steps, she is seen switching her handbag hand to Cruise’s side and walking up the last flight alone.
Ironically, the song chosen for Top Gun: Maverick, performed in the movie by Lady Gaga, is titled Hold My Hand.
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Sky News Australia contributor Dr Erin Watson went on Twitter to post:
“Kate Middleton then immediately switched her clutch so he didn’t touch her again as she went up the next set of stairs like a total #bossroyal who wasn’t going to be touched by Tom Cruise 🔥”
Adding: “Kate Middleton is all of us strategically shifting our clutch because someone thinks they can touch you but #nope 👇🏽”
Responding to a later comment, Watson claimed that the royals seemed “mortified” and that William was unable to offer support due to her carrying her bag by his side. She published:
“Her face is mortified – she reluctantly accepts, then switches. a. Royals aren’t to be touched, and b. One doesn’t want to be touched by Tom Cruise. Kate is traditional and conservative in many ways, she clearly didn’t like it. Wills couldn’t take her hand because of the clutch.”
Author and royal fashion expert Elizabeth Holmes also identified Kate’s switching of her handbag from one hand to the other as a deliberate move by the Duchess.
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In a story posted on Instagram, Holmes wrote: “A moment of silence for the absolutely stealth clutch hand switch. McQueen makes shields! Who knew! Clutch, indeed.”
The author of HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style also posted a story saying, “I just have to say Kate’s look when she has to hold Tom Cruise’s is very relatable. Same girl. Same.”
Despite this interpretation by some, others have praised Cruise for the gesture and footage of the incident may suggest that the Duchess climbed the last few steps alone because she needed both hands to hold her bag and dress to the ground.
In a TikTok video posted by user shazzacarpenter, Cruise is shown helping Kate up the steps with the audio “Tom Cruise is a gentleman” playing at the top.
Broadcaster Rachel Sweeney also found the gesture endearing when she posted on Twitter:
Kate and William joined Tom Cruise on the red carpet in Leicester Square. https://t.co/NdtuVHeVY7
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue)
May 19, 2022
“Kate is perfection and I love her so much that Tom Cruise took her by the hand!”
After the hand-in-hand incident, Kate and William took a seat next to Cruise for the film. This was by no means the Hollywood star’s first brush with royalty. Last week, she appeared as a guest host during a Platinum Jubilee horse-show for the queen, praising her “devotion” and “dignity”.
In 1992, Cruise also met William’s mother, Princess Diana, at the premiere of the film Far And Away, in which he starred opposite Nicole Kidman. The couple were invited to Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey five years after her death at the age of 36 in a car accident in Paris.