Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise was recently in London for the premiere of the long-awaited sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. While he often receives negative press for his personal life choices, there’s no denying he’s made an impressive collection of action-packed movies over the decades.
Often his roles involve a hero who saves the world, with a dose of charisma for good measure. And during the recent premier of his new movie, he demonstrated that away from the movie cameras, but in front of the world’s media, he continues to act in a chivalrous manner.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to the premiere, as usual all eyes were on Kate and what she chose to wear for the red carpet. As it happens, she’d opted for a figure hugging long gown that looked very restricting. When she went to navigate the stairs, Cruise offered his hand to help her along the way.
A tiny gesture, but a kind one. The offering of his hand demonstrated that he noticed she might be in some difficulty. Whether he did it for the cameras, or out of sheer thoughtfulness, we’ll never know. But one thing is certain, the photo of his reaching out to help the royal has the opportunity to put chivalry back on the map.
In an age where many men are uncertain about how to behave around women — and in fact, good old fashioned chivalry has almost become a dirty word — it’s important to remember that chivalry, and just basic courtesy, provides an opportunity to care for others.
What is so delightful is that courtesy can be practiced at home and when we’re out and about, allowing us to interact with strangers in a respectful and positive manner. Whether Cruise broke every form of royal protocol by offering his hand is uncertain — after all, the whole set of rules concerning how to behave with the royals is pretty mind-blowing.
Yet, the Duchess of Cambridge’s response of taking Cruise up on his offer with a smile also demonstrates that being on the receiving end of a chivalrous act does not make anyone weak, but respectful in turn. And it shows gratitude. At a time when manners seem to be lacking throughout society, it’s always heartening to see them visibly played out in public to inspire others.