Tom Cruise swears his allegiance to three things: movie theaters, the Church of Scientology, and, for some reason, the British Royal Family. The “Top Gun: Maverick” star made a pre-recorded appearance at the King Charles’ Coronation Concert on Sunday, shouting out his beloved franchise in the process.
In the video that opened the concert, celebrating Charles’ official coronation as king of Britain on Saturday, Cruise was recorded flying a fighter jet throughout the air. Addressing the camera, he said: “Pilot to pilot, Your Majesty, you can be my wingman any time,” referencing one of the most famous lines from the original 1986 “Top Gun.”
Tom Cruise with a short Video for #CharlesIII at his #Coronation. #TomCruise pic.twitter.com/IZYvmBffA8— Tom Cruise News (@TCNews62) May 7, 2023
Cruise is not a British citizen, although he has recently lived part time in the country during filming of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. That said, he has a strangely extensive history with the monarchy, dating back to the ’90s, when he became friends with Charles’ ex-wife Princess Diana after meeting her at the premiere of his film “Far and Away” in 1992. He and his wife at the time, Nicole Kidman, attended her funeral in 1997. Last year, Prince William and Princess Katherine both attended the London premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick” and spoke to Cruise.
According to Variety, the pre-recorded segment was introduced by James Bond star Pierce Bronson, who called Charles “the longest serving Prince of Wales for over 64 years.” He took the position in 1958 when he was was only nine years old, and remained in that position until his mother Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 last year after her record-breaking 70-year reign on the throne. Hugh Jackman also appeared in a pre-recorded message; the ceremony, hosted by Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville, featured performances from Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie, Nicole Scherzinger, Tiwa Savage, and a “Romeo and Juliet” scene acted by future “Doctor Who” star Ncuti Gatwa.
The organizers reportedly had difficulty booking talent for the event, with big names like Adele and Ed Sheeran declining.
Charles and his wife Camilla were crowned king and queen on live television Saturday, in the second ever televised coronation, after Elizabeth’s in 1953. Although Charles is a much more controversial figure than his mother — owing largely to his treatment of the universally beloved Diana in the ’90s, which has been immortalized by shows and films like “The Crown,” along with growing anti-monarchist sentiment in the United Kingdom — his coronation was watched by 14 million viewers in the UK.