They may seem like an unlikely pairing, but the late Queen had an incredible secret friendship with Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. This week, it was claimed that the monarch and the Mission Impossible actor "really hit it off" over the summer.
Cruise had a special role during Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee celebrations - and caused quite the commotion when he walked up to Windsor Castle for a horse-themed event in May titled A Gallop Through History. The actor was tasked with introducing a key moment of the evening, a performance by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, while the smiling Queen watched on.
"It takes huge courage and discipline to do what they do, galloping with guns that were fired in the battles of the First World War, weighing one-and-a-half tonnes, with no brakes," he said,
"The drive demonstrates absolute trust between horse and rider."
Before the proceedings kicked off, the A-lister spoke to presenters Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham, revealing it was an "honour" to have been asked to attend.
"I was just very honoured. She's a woman I greatly admire. She has tremendous dignity and I admire her devotion. What she has accomplished has been historic," he said.
"I remember as a kid, seeing photos of her. I travelled around a lot and I came to England to make movies in 1982. I love the history and I just have great respect for her.
"When they asked I instantly said 'it would be my honour to be here'."
Cruise reportedly delighted many of the Queen's guests and posed for selfies with fans, but the late monarch was experiencing mobility problems so did not meet him.
The Queen was said to have been very disappointed not to meet Cruise, so later invited him back to have tea and a special tour of Windsor Castle.
A source said: "Just the two of them had tea together. She loved seeing him and they really hit it off, so much so that she invited him back for lunch. He was even allowed to fly in by helicopter."
Cruise, who has previously confessed his love for England, was reportedly going to meet the Queen again for a lunch date.
Tragically, that reunion never happened because Her Majesty sadly died in September at the age of 96.
It's not just the Queen who took a liking to Tom, as he accompanied the Prince and Princess of Wales down the red carpet at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in May.
The superstar actor was hailed as a "perfect gentleman" after royal fans spotted a sweet moment between him and Kate.
She was wearing some very high heels, which could have been an issue while navigating some stairs, but Tom kindly offered Kate his hand.
Fans took to Twitter to praise the actor, with one writing: "Tom Cruise being a perfect gentleman tonight!! Kate just stunning."
Another added: "A true fan girl moment for the Duchess of Cambridge - as Tom Cruise helps her up the steps at the Top Gun Maverick premiere, with Prince William looking super happy for his wife!"
Speaking at the premiere, Tom heaped praise on the entire royal family - and admitted he has a lot in common with William.
"I was there for her and I greatly admire her dedication to the country. They do so many wonderful things for so many people," he said.
"We have a lot in common. We loved England. The Duke and I are both aviators so we love flying."
Do you have a story to share? Email email@example.com