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Prince William jokes with Tom Cruise about his footwear after the royal wore velvet slip-on shoes emblazoned with planes at their last meeting

Prince William jokingly recalled his stylish fashion choice from the 2022 premiere of Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise yesterday evening.

The Prince of Wales, 41, made a return to public engagements yesterday at a glitzy gala dinner in support of London’s Air Ambulance Charity at Raffles London at the OWO (Old War Office).

Adding some glamour to the evening was Hollywood star Tom Cruise, 61, who is a long-term supporter of the charity organisation, and on spotting the actor, William quipped: ‘I haven’t got my Top Gun slippers on.’ 

The father-of-three was referring to his playful fashion choice at the 2022 premiere of Top Gun: Maverick – a pair of black loafers decorated with planes, reminiscent of the fighter aircraft used in the original 1986 action movie.  

The stylish slippers marked a departure for William, who typically plays it safe when it comes to his fashion choices. 

The Prince of Wales joked with Hollywood star Tom Cruise yesterday evening about his stylish fashion choice from the Top Gun: Maverick 2022 premiere. ‘I haven’t got my Top Gun slippers on,’ he recalled

Costing £300, William’s slippers were custom-made by Crockett & Jones, the desirable cobbler that holds the royal warrant.

The royal paused his focus from family matters following Kate’s hospitalisation for a serious abdominal surgery and King Charles’ shock cancer diagnosis to undertake a day of engages, holding an investiture at Windsor Castle followed by the charity fundraising event.

Elsewhere in the evening, Prince William has thanked the nation for its ‘kind messages of support’ for his wife and father.

In a speech, the Prince of Wales said the heartfelt words of comfort received by his family ‘means a great deal to us all’.

The day had been particularly busy day for the Prince – who is now the monarchy’s most prominent public figure – as he handed out more than 50 honours on behalf of the King.

The monarch is recuperating at Sandringham following his first cancer treatment and Kate is at home following abdominal surgery. 

As he entered the venue the Prince of Wales said he ‘really appreciates everyone’s kindness’ as he spoke out for the first time since the shock news that the King has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Prince of Wales – who served as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia – has been patron of the organisation since 2020.

Prince William looked dapper in a tuxedo as he arrived at the London's Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner

Prince William looked dapper in a tuxedo as he arrived at the London’s Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner 

Back in 2022, William arrived at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in a pair of black loafers decorated with a small plane, reminiscent of the fighter aircraft used in the original 1986 action movie

Back in 2022, William arrived at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in a pair of black loafers decorated with a small plane, reminiscent of the fighter aircraft used in the original 1986 action movie

Hollywood star Tom laughed as Wills joked about the last time they had met - when he was wearing Top Gun slippers

Hollywood star Tom laughed as Wills joked about the last time they had met – when he was wearing Top Gun slippers 

In a speech William, who has been keen in recent days to allow his father’s news to take centre stage, told his audience: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days. It means a great deal to us all.

‘It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather ‘medical’ focus. So I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!’

There was also a joke for Cruise, known for his daredevil high-flying film stunts, as the royal said: ‘Here in London, the current aircraft have served magnificently. But our capital city needs a new fleet. 

‘And we are Up Against Time. The clue really is in the Appeal’s name. By September, we need the two new red birds – decked with the latest kit such as night vision – in our skies.

‘I should also take this opportunity to give a mention to my – our – fellow pilot, Tom Cruise. Tom, huge thanks for supporting us tonight.

Prince William cut a dapper figure in a blue velvet evening jacket, tuxedo trousers and playful airplane slippers at the 2022 premiere alongside a very chic Kate

Prince William cut a dapper figure in a blue velvet evening jacket, tuxedo trousers and playful airplane slippers at the 2022 premiere alongside a very chic Kate

William was introduced to by reality star Mark-Francis Vandelli, a charity committee member, to some of the VIP guests including Sister Sledge

William was introduced to by reality star Mark-Francis Vandelli, a charity committee member, to some of the VIP guests including Sister Sledge

William was speaking at a glittering gala dinner in support of London¿s Air Ambulance Charity at Raffles London at the OWO (Old War Office)

William was speaking at a glittering gala dinner in support of London’s Air Ambulance Charity at Raffles London at the OWO (Old War Office)

To take William's mind off the royal family's woes there was some A-list Hollywood glitter, in the form of global superstar Tom Cruise

To take William’s mind off the royal family’s woes there was some A-list Hollywood glitter, in the form of global superstar Tom Cruise

‘And if you wouldn’t mind not borrowing either of the new helicopters for the next Mission : Impossible, it would be appreciated. 

‘We have all seen on our screens that – how can I put it – you seem to have a different take on ‘normal wear and tear’ to the rest of us.

‘It’s not the kind that buffs out, that’s for sure.’

It was only a brief moment in the spotlight for William, however, who will now return to Windsor with the king’s blessing, to care for his family.

The prince cleared his diary after the Princess of Wales was admitted to hospital on January 16 for what has only been described as ‘abdominal surgery’. She required a two-week hospital stay and will not resume public duties until after Easter.

The heir to the throne is unlikely to be seen in public now for another 10 days at least.

The presence of the Top Gun star was particularly appropriate given that the gala is to support the London Air Ambulance, of which Cruise is, remarkably, an existing supporter

The presence of the Top Gun star was particularly appropriate given that the gala is to support the London Air Ambulance, of which Cruise is, remarkably, an existing supporter

Looking smart in a black dinner jacket and bow tie, he arrived at Ruffles new London hotspot, Raffles London in Horseguards Avenue, at 7.20pm

Looking smart in a black dinner jacket and bow tie, he arrived at Ruffles new London hotspot, Raffles London in Horseguards Avenue, at 7.20pm

Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, thanked the prince for attending at such a difficult time, saying: ‘I think I speak on behalf of everybody at the London Air Ambulance family, and everyone else in this room, that we send you at this particular time our love, our best wishes and our support to you and your family and, in particular His Royal Highness [meaning the King].’

He added that they were ‘immensely privilege have his Royal Highness as Patron not because he is a senior member of the royal family, not because he is next in line to the throne but because to us he is one of us. Prince William is a former air ambulance pilot,. So he gets what we do. And that’s incredibly important and powerful for us as a service. ‘

Singer Debbie Sledge told the Mail that she had told the prince she was praying for his father, the King.

‘I hadn’t planned to and I haven’t met His Majesty or any of the Royal Family before but I felt so strongly that I should. They are good people,’ she said.

‘My hearts go out to them all.’

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