William and Kate Make First Joint Appearance Since False Online Split Story

Prince William and Kate Middleton stepped out to attend a royal premiere of Tom Cruise's Top Gun sequel on Thursday in their first joint appearance since a false story saying that the couple had split up began circulating online earlier this week.

The couple made a united appearance at the special royal charity premiere of Top Gun: Maverick in London's Leicester Square, with both royals looking happy and showing no signs of discontent.

Rumors online as to the state of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's marriage have have appeared sporadically over the years. They were allegedly lent credence this week when French language magazine Oh My Mag published a story claiming Kate had left William and moved out of the marital home with the couple's three children.

Prince William Kate Middleton Premiere Appearance 2022
Prince William and Kate Middleton made their first joint appearance since the publication of a false story claiming they had split. May 19, 2022. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The story was picked up by MSN.com, which ran it online including posting a link to Twitter on May 17.

At the time of the story's publication a spokesperson for Groupe Cerise, the owner of Oh My Mag, confirmed to Newsweek that the story was false, saying:

"This story is indeed false and has been published by accident. We are taking it down momentarily."

MSN.com and Kensington Palace were also approached for comment.

The couple's appearance at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere saw them display the usual signs of public affection that have become commonplace between the royals in recent years. William was photographed placing his hand on his wife's back and looking admiringly in her direction while on the red carpet.

In April, the Cambridges celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary, having dated for nearly 10 years prior to their 2010 engagement. They have three children, Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.

This year has had its difficult moments for William and Kate, with the couple receiving widespread criticism during their tour of the Caribbean in March.

Each stop of the royal tour, taking in visits to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was met with anti-colonialism and pro-reparations protests and in addition to that, a series of poorly chosen photo opportunities saw a backlash against the couple online.

Following their tour, the royals attended the service of thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey, which saw Prince Andrew reportedly attempt a public comeback—since settling a sexual assault lawsuit against him—by appearing on the arm of his mother.

This move saw the royal family face another wave of public criticism.

This year marks Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, which brings with it a central weekend of celebrations planned to take place in the first week of June.

The celebrations are expected to see the Cambridges come face to face with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the first time in public since the couple's March 2021 Oprah interview, during which Meghan claimed Kate made her cry before her wedding.

Prince William Kate Middleton Tom Cruise Premiere
Tom Cruise helped Kate Middleton up a flight of stairs during the Cambridge's appearance on the Top Gun: Maverick red carpet. May 19, 2022. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The charity event on Thursday saw the royals met by Tom Cruise on the red carpet, where he guided them into the screening after introducing them to some of the movie's cast and crew. The star made a surprise appearance on Sunday at the equestrian jubilee tribute to the queen, where he praised the monarch's "dignity" and "devotion."

In a moment caught by the gathered press, Cruise offered Kate his hand as the party climbed the steps of the movie theater, the duchess wearing a black and white Roland Mourant figure-hugging gown and William a pair of slippers embroidered with fighter jets.

In a message printed in the premiere's program, William wrote: "Catherine and I are delighted to be attending The Royal Film Performance 2022 to mark the much-anticipated U.K release of Top Gun: Maverick."

Going on to praise the work of The Film and TV Charity that offered support to people working in the industry who had been affected by the pandemic, he wished: "Every success to all of those who have been involved in the making of Top Gun: Maverick and hope that this evening goes a long way to providing continued support to the charity's beneficiaries."

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