Why meeting Prince William was so meaningful for Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly was thrust into the spotlight as a teenager when she booked an uncredited role in a Duran Duran music video, per IMDb. She then starred in her first film, Once Upon A Time In America, which was released when she was just 14 years old. From her illustrious start, Connelly’s career has only gotten better with films like David Bowie’s epic fantasy flick “Labyrinth”, “Mulholland Falls”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Requiem for a Dream” and the fan-favorite TV series ” Snowpiercer”.

However, Connelly’s latest role has caught the attention of many fans. She plays Penny Benjamin, Tom Cruise’s on-screen love interest, in Top Gun: Maverick. As one fan said, “Finally Top Gun Maverick. Another gushed: “Just got home from watching Top Gun Maverick. Let me tell you that the main reason to see this movie is…Jennifer Connelly. The woman is still the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.”

“Maverick” grossed $124 million in its international opening weekend, making it Cruise’s biggest opening to date, according to Deadline. Cruise and Connelly rode the film’s wave of success, attending red carpet events around the world. One of their stops was London, where the actors met some members of the royal family, per People, and the moment was particularly special for Connelly.

Jennifer Connelly met Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, at a premiere

Jennifer Connelly was blown away while attending the London premiere of Top Gun: Maverick. And while most fans’ eyes were probably on Tom Cruise, Connelly found himself searching for the royals. According to People, Connelly was keen to gauge Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge’s reaction to the film. The actor told the outlet, “I kept checking over to check their reactions and they seemed to be having a blast.” Connelly later told Entertainment Tonight, “It was, you know, a very special occasion.” Adding, “Kate and William were both so lovely and reached out and shook hands and they’re just flawless.” Connelly shared that when she met Wills, she “definitely thought about the time” when she met his mother.

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This wasn’t the first time Connelly had met a king, you know. She had met his mother, Princess Diana, back in 1986 when William was only 4 years old. Like his mother, the Duke met Connelly at a red carpet event. The actress and mother-of-three even took to Instagram to share her memories. She began the post by writing, “My last time at a royal premiere!” In the snap, 15-year-old Connelly wore a demure black gown, while the Princess of Wales wore a sophisticated cream gown. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the strip that caught the princess’ attention was the one that put Connelly on the map.

Jennifer Connelly (and a monster) met Princess Diana

Jennifer Connelly met both Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the royal premiere of Labyrinth. The star shared a throwback photo reminiscing about the first time she met a British royal. “Meeting Princess Diana at the royal premiere of Labyrinth in 1986.” She then considered attending another royal premiere as part of the Top Gun: Maverick cast.

Connelly told Entertainment Tonight about her first royal premiere and recalled it happening.[in] 1986 … for the premiere of ‘Labyrinth,’ which was a film I did when I was a teenager,” she said. “And I met William’s mother, [Princess] Diana.” In ET’s clip, Prince Charles meets Connelly for the first time. She takes the prince’s hand, smiles and curtseys as they talk briefly.

Meanwhile, Diana was entertained by the likes of Sir Richard Attenborough and… a creature? Ludo, the mythical monster who stars in “Labyrinth,” was also at the premiere and paid special attention to Princess Diana. When Sir Attenborough asks Ludo, “Can you bow or curtsey to Her Highness?” the monster descends low, much to the princess’ embarrassment. She playfully beats the legendary conservationist and quickly walks away. Connelly is beaming in the background. Perhaps Connelly was remembering how her previous encounter with the royal family really went when she shook hands with Wills and Kate?

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