How Kate Middleton Quickly Reacted When Tom Cruise Broke Royal Protocol

Kate Middleton and Prince William recently enjoyed the royal premiere of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sequel. And one brief moment on the red carpet between the Duchess of Cambridge and the movie star has the British tabloids talking. Cruise appeared to break royal protocol when he grabbed Kate’s hand, but her quick reaction was so smooth, classy, and poised that it kept Cruise out of the “Danger Zone.” (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

Kate Middleton is accompanied by star actor Tom Cruise as she arrives for the "Top Gun: Maverick" Royal Film Performance at Odeon Leicester Square on May 19, 2022 in London, England
Kate Middleton and Tom Cruise | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton attend the London premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

On Thursday, May 19, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the special royal charity premiere of the sequel Top Gun: Maverick in London’s Leicester Square. As the couple walked the red carpet into the event, Cruise greeted them, who introduced them to some of the cast and crew before guiding them into the screening.

During a brief moment captured by the British press, Cruise made the gentlemanly gesture of offering Kate his hand to help her up the steps. She was wearing a figure-hugging Roland Mouret gown and Prada heels, making the small set of stairs difficult, so she kindly accepted the gesture.

But this brief moment had fans wondering if Cruise was “allowed” to touch a royal family member.

Kate Middleton quickly reacted when Tom Cruise supposedly broke royal protocol

It’s long been rumored that you can’t touch a royal family member. And according to Hello! Magazine, it’s a well-established rule that you can only take the Queen by her hand if she has offered it.

When it comes to the duchess, she may have been aware of this rumor or assumed protocol about touching royals. So, she quickly reacted after Cruise helped her up the stairs.

After the sweet moment, Cruise released Kate’s hand, and then she subtly moved her clutch purse into the hand he had been holding. When they hit the next set of stairs, Cruise was unable to grab her hand again. Kate handled the situation with such grace and elegance that her reaction to Cruise’s supposed gaffe was almost unnoticeable.

What are the rules about touching a member of the royal family?

While there are many royal rules and traditions, there are no “official rules when it comes to touching a member of the Royal Family,” according to Yahoo! Royal editor Omid Scobie.

“It’s more down to what’s acceptable in society or not,” Scobie explained. “I think there are a lot of things that are perceived as royal etiquette or royal protocol that we assume might be the case but aren’t actually.”

Scobie also pointed out that if Kate had a problem with Cruise’s gesture, she wouldn’t have given him her hand.

“It could have been far worse,” Scobie says. “The worst would be for her to trip downstairs at a royal film premiere.”

The royal editor concluded by saying the royals’ rules are all about common sense. It’s fine to give someone your hand to help them up the stairs. But rushing up to hug William or Kate would have been “inappropriate.”

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