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Tom Cruise Goes Top Gun: Maverick For King Charles III Coronation Tribute

Tom Cruise is well-known for doing his own death-defying stunts in the blockbuster movies he makes. But on Sunday, May 7, the Hollywood heavyweight pulled out all the stops in real life and went all "Top Gun: Maverick." Twenty-four hours after the coronation of King Charles III at Windsor Castle, those in attendance for the Coronation Concert caught a glimpse of Cruise honoring the man who now wears the crown via a recorded message. In that footage, Cruise performed an aerial salute for the British monarch that found its inspiration from "Top Gun: Maverick." The aircraft appears to be Cruise's own P-51 Mustang, which he flew at the end of the "Top Gun" sequel.

The unforgettable moment was captured on video by The Sun. "Pilot to pilot, Your Majesty, you can be my wingman any time," Cruise said before saluting the king from the cockpit of his aircraft. The performer then gave a heartfelt thumbs-up before banking the plane hard right — diving toward the clouds.

Cruise honors King Charles Top Gun-style

Tom Cruise's heartwarming salute to King Charles III, in honor of his coronation, wasn't akin to one of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's (Cruise) disrespectful aircraft carrier flybys in the original "Top Gun." You know, the kind of hotdog flying Mav pulled off on more than one occasion, ultimately ending with an unnamed admiral spilling his coffee, screeching, and wanting to get his hands around the pilot's arrogant neck. No, Cruise's prerecorded flight and message shown during the Coronation Concert on Sunday were much more deferential. 

The unmistakable dialogue that Cruise speaks in the tribute video comes from the classic 'wingman' scene in the original "Top Gun," though it's slightly modified for King Charles III. After Maverick and rival pilot Iceman (Val Kilmer) work together to defeat a host of bogeys, they finally accept one another as friends and colleagues. "You can be my wingman anytime," Iceman says. "Bulls***," Maverick responds. "You can be mine." The classic film scene denotes both friendship and respect, so it was the perfect way for Cruise to honor Charles' coronation.