As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Hollywood superstar and a long list of celebrities at London’s premiere of the Top Gun sequel, William rose “into his fan-boy shoes” while his wife, who stunned in a black and white Roland Mouret gown, forced him into “retreat mode”, Judi James said.
The sweet moment between the actor and the Duchess came when Mr Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer introduced the Cambridges to the production’s cast.
Several steep steps had to be navigated to make it to the backdrop of the Eurofighter Typhoon, currently in service with the RAF, against which the stars were lined up.
Mr Cruise, a “perfect gentleman”, naturally offered Kate his hand in what was thought to be a gesture to help her get there safely in her high heels.
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Ms James said: “As William was sweetly climbing into his fan-boy shoes complete with embroidered, Top Gun-style jets for the film’s premiere, did it ever cross his mind that he might end up spending a few minutes playing second fiddle on the red carpet as his wife was escorted by the iconic Tom Cruise, even placing a hand in a clasp over his as he offered it in a very gallant way as she climbed the stairs in her stunning, figure-hugging sheath dress?
“For a minute they looked like a pair of glittering A-list celebrities posing there together to plug their new movie.”
Speaking to the Mirror, Ms James said: “From the moment Kate had spotted Tom she’d engaged in very animated conversation with him, suggesting she’d been busting to chat.
“As she hit him with the full force of her dazzling smile it was possible to see William in temporary ‘retreat’ mode, sucking his lips in and lifting his hand towards his bow tie in a look of good-humoured submission.
“Whether the handclasp met royal protocol rules or not it was perfectly performed, without any hesitation or look of query from Kate.”
She added: “She oozed confidence in one of her most stunning looks to date, although she did veer to William’s side again once the introductions were all done, letting him go back to looking like Tom’s biggest fan as it was his turn to chat to the star instead.”
Top Gun was initially due for release in July 2019 but was repeatedly pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is out in the UK and Ireland on May 27.