‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Stars Revealed There Were ‘Hard and Fast Rules’ to Follow When Meeting the Royal Family

The highest-grossing domestic release of Tom Cruise’s career, Top Gun: Maverick knows no bounds, even scoring an audience with the British royal family. Premiering in London’s Leicester Square on May 19, Top Gun: Maverick hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who mingled with many of the movie’s cast members, including Cruise, Jon Hamm, and Miles Teller. However, the Top Gun: Maverick cast had to follow certain etiquette when meeting the royal couple.  

Jon Hamm on meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton

Hamm, who plays Beau “Cyclone” Simpson in Top Gun: Maverick, has done several interviews detailing the rules for the royal meet-and-greet. In his interview on Live With Kelly and Ryan, Hamm said, “It’s a little anxiety-producing because they give you these rules that you’re meant to sort of follow.” 

Hamm added, “You’re meant to say, ‘Your Royal Highness.’ If they offer their name, then you can use their name, but you can’t do it first. And you can’t offer your hand; they have to offer their hand. Then you have to bow, but you can’t bow too low.” 

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest then produced a photo showing Hamm meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The hosts commended the actor for his head bow — an appropriate alternative to a handshake when meeting royalty.

Other ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ cast reactions to meeting the royal family

Top Gun: Maverick cast royal family Tom Cruise Kate Middleton
Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Tom Cruise at the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Royal Film Performance | Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

Jon Hamm also discussed Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller’s introduction to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in his interview on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

According to Hamm, Teller might have had a somewhat awkward moment with Prince William. “He geeked out a little on Prince William’s eyes,” Hamm said of his Maverick co-star. “I remember coming back afterwards — he’s like, ‘They’re so blue. I got lost in his eyes.'”

Tom Cruise, for his part, seemed honored yet at ease meeting the royals. Even though offering one’s hand first to a royal is frowned upon, Cruise offered his hand to escort Kate Middleton up a set of stairs.

Similarly, when speaking about Prince William, Cruise told My London: “We have a lot in common. We both love England, and we’re both aviators — we both love flying.” 

Prince William paid tribute to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

It’s been 36 years since Top Gun hit the big screen, and like the 1986 original, Top Gun: Maverick shows aviation action at its finest.

Having graduated from the Royal Air Force College Cranwell and served as a full-time pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Prince William is a fellow pilot and aviation lover. So he wore a tribute to the film — on his feet. 

The Duke of Cambridge arrived at the premiere wearing velvet loafers by the Northampton-based brand Crockett & Jones. Each shoe bore an embroidered F-18 Super Hornet jet, per GQ. Ironically, the F-18 is the only aircraft the stunt-loving Cruise was not allowed to fly personally during the filming of Top Gun: Maverick.

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