Suri Cruise shining daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
A sunny day in Beverly Hills and in a beautifully manicured garden a little girl is celebrating her fifth birthday. She sits at the head of the table, dressed in her favourite turquoise sunglasses and a pretty pink dress.
Nothing out of the ordinary, then. Except that while she unwraps a doll, the guests have to shout over the whirring of helicopters above.
Because this is no ordinary five-year-old — this is Suri Cruise, and the helicopters contain paparazzi desperate to get a shot of the little girl who is surely becoming the most photographed child in the world.
And the truth is that on this planet Suri is not just a little princess being doted on by her parents. In accordance with the doctrine of the Church of Scientology — of which her parents are devoted followers — she is apparently treated as an adult, free to make decisions on her clothes, make-up and diet.
There’s no doubt that Suri is adorable, with a long curtain of conker-brown hair and the most bewitching slanted green eyes.
But here the comparisons with most other children of her age end. Her taste in clothes runs to £1,300 Dolce & Gabbana trench coats and £500 miniature Marc Jacobs heels. She’s been credited — and blamed — for sparking a multi-million-pound mania for putting pampered kids in designer labels. Thanks to a serious shopping habit that has been indulged ever since she was a toddler, her wardrobe is said to be worth £2 million.
Little Suri has been wearing make-up for two years and was spotted earlier this year making selections at beauty chain Sephora in New York.
Little Miss Cruise even has such decisive views about her outfits that she has never been seen in trousers. And why shouldn’t she?
Her father Tom, who was 43 when Suri was born, calls her his ‘fountain of youth’ and is clearly happy to spoil her rotten. ‘She likes to dress herself and wears whatever she wants,’ says Tom. ‘I’m not gonna tell her different.’
Suri also still uses a dummy, even though the majority of children are encouraged to stop the habit around the age of two, due to implications for teeth.
A source said: ‘Scientology encourages you to make your own decisions. She’ll know herself when it’s time to throw the pacifier away, plain and simple.’
There is no sign at all of anything so prosaic as schooling taking place or of her having friends her own age. Instead you see her out until midnight in New York, where Tom Cruise has an apartment, with Katie Holmes.
Recent pictures show the two of them looking fatigued while exiting Broadway shows or fancy restaurants such as Il Cantinori and Serendipity 3, as if they were a couple of women in their 30s onthe town. On one unfortunate occasion earlier this month, Suri picked up a packet of Penis Gummies — jelly sweets in the shape of genitalia — and was photographed waving them blithely around.
Katie later sheepishly explained that the child had picked them out before she was really aware of what the item was.
But it seems there is no rest for this girl, whose parents show her off with relentless zeal.
When Katie Holmes was on the David Letterman Show recently, Suri was brought to the taping and accompanied her parents for dinner afterwards — which went on until the early hours.
You wouldn’t catch Victoria Beckham, or even Angelina Jolie, allowing their children out so late — even though both women are noted for their love of publicity.
Suri’s first photo shoot came when she was five months old and provided the cover for the biggest-selling edition of Vanity Fair in the magazine’s history. She was then photographed extensively at her parents’ wedding in official pictures of the event that the pair sold across the globe.
More recently, you will have seen her sporting sparkly silver heels in Vancouver, in Uggs with a Dolce bag flung over her tiny arm in Barneys department store, attending the Superbowl with her father in Miami and playing with an iPad while waiting for her meal to arrive in restaurants.
Suri is even said to offer advice when it comes to her mother’s fashion line Holmes and Yang, with Katie consulting on shoe design, such is her belief in the girl’s talents.
Last year, Holmes said: ‘Suri picks out all of her own clothes.’ Cruise is as gushing. In a recent interview, he said: ‘I say to Suri, “I really want you to eat this protein if you’re going to have that sugar.” She looks at me and she goes: “Dad, I don’t think you should try to force me to do something I don’t want to do.”’