Prince William made a cheeky dig at American film star Tom Cruise after returning to royal duties following the hospital admission of King Charles and Princess Kate.

The heir had been off for several weeks caring for his wife who underwent abdominal surgery.

Now that he's back at work, the Prince spent yesterday morning at an investiture ceremony in Windsor before heading to a gala dinner for the London Air Ambulance that same evening.

As well as thanking those in attendance for their "kind messages of support" regarding King Charles and his wife Kate, the royal was able to lighten up the mood with a few jokes.

Prince William issues lighthearted warning to Top Gun star Tom Cruise

The Prince praised "fellow pilot" Tom Crusie, making a nod to his work on various action flicks like Top Gun and Mission Impossible.

Speaking of the London Air Ambulance's need for two new helicopters by September, Prince William said: "I should also take this opportunity to give a mention to my, our, fellow pilot, Tom Cruise. Tom, huge thanks for supporting us tonight.

"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."

Tom Cruise has had a close relationship with the Royal Family in the past with the actor reportedly getting along with the late Queen.

A source told the Sunday Times that the pair "really hit it off" after having tea together, even going as far as to set up a second meeting.

Kate and William also walked alongside the actor on the red carpet during the premiere of the Top Gun sequel.

The Prince also joked that things had become "medically focussed" with the family, telling those in attendance: "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!"