Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive at Top Gun premiere
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge graced the red carpet last week as they attended the London premiere of Top Gun: Maverick. As they arrived in Leicester Square, the couple were greeted by some of the main actors in the film – including Tom Cruise and Mr Hamm.
A week after his brush with royalty, Mr Hamm opened up about the experience.
Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in the US, the actor said there are “guidelines that are not so much guidelines as hard and fast rules that you are made to follow” whenever greeting members of the Royal Family.
During a different chat show, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Mr Hamm spoke once again about the protocol to follow whenever greeting the royals.
He said: “It’s a little anxiety-producing because they give you these rules that you’re meant to sort of follow.
Kate and Prince William attended the premiere of Top Gun last week
Jon Hamm is among the main stars in the new Top Gun film
“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.”
While Mr Hamm appeared to shake hands with Kate and bow just as the guidelines suggest, another star was said to have breached royal protocol during the night.
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Kate was helped up the stairs by Tom Cruise during the premiere
While on the red carpet, Mr Cruise took Kate by hand to help her walk up a flight of stairs.
This kind gesture was seen as a breach of royal protocol by some observers, who believe the guidelines dictate members of the Royal Family should not be touched if not for a handshake.
While there are still certain rules in place, the etiquette surrounding meetings with the royals has largely become more relaxed during the reign of the Queen.
In 2009, Michelle Obama famously embraced Her Majesty during her first state visit to London as US First Lady.
Kate and Prince William meeting Tom Cruise on the premiere’s red carpet
Kate meeting Jon Hamm during the premiere
This, much like Mr Cruise’s move, was initially seen as a faux pas.
However, the Queen’s confidante and dresser Angela Kelly later revealed in her book no rules had been broken.
She wrote: “In reality it was a natural instinct for the Queen to show affection and respect for another great woman and really there is no protocol that must be adhered to,”
The Royal Family’s official website state there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour” when meeting members of the Firm.
Kate and Prince William got married in 2011
Nevertheless, in case people who meet the royals want to make sure to be following an appropriate behaviour, the website lists a few guidelines.
Among them, the website states the Queen should be first addressed as Your Majesty and later as Ma’am.
Other members of the Firm are to be conventionally addressed as Your Royal Highness on presentation and later as Sir or Ma’am.
Mr Cruise appeared delighted to share the spotlight with Kate and William during the London premiere of his latest film.
Kate and Prince William travelled to Leicester Square in London for the premiere
Speaking about his admiration for the Duke, the 59-year-old said: “We have a lot in common.
“We both love England and we’re both aviators, we both love flying.”
The Hollywood actor referred to Prince William’s former career as an RAF Search & Rescue pilot and air ambulance pilot.
The premiere hasn’t been the only close encounter with royalty for Mr Cruise this month.
On May 15, he was one of the hosts of the star-studded last night of the equestrian show A Gallop Through History, which had among its spectators in Windsor the Queen herself.