"Seventeen, black. Seventeen, black. Oh, come on, seventeen, black!"

Deborah, Duchess of Royston is a character from The Duchess Assignment and an old friend of Lady Penelope. When she gets robbed and kidnapped, International Rescue has to try and rescue her.



A Trip to the CasinoEdit

In a French Casino, while playing roulette, the Duchess is spotted by an old friend (Lady Penelope), she tells her that she has lost everything, except her precious Braquasso painting "Portrait of a Gazelle". Two crooks, Chandler and Brophy, overhear their conversation.

Lady Penelope realizes that the table is fixed and causes a scene, but the crooked casino owner escapes with the Duchess's money.

The Braquasso Painting ArrangementEdit

Lady Penelope invites Wilbur Dandridge to her home for a meeting with the Duchess of Royston. She will not sell at any price but does finally agree to a rental arrangement, insisting that she ferries the painting to New York herself.

A Trip to AmericaEdit

Lady Penelope accompanies the Duchess to London International Airport and Before leaving for America on Fireflash, the Duchess receives a St Christopher brooch from Lady Penelope .

After arriving in America, the Duchess should have been met at New York Central Airport by Wilbur Dandridge's chauffeur (Hendricks), but while checking in by phone he was hit over the head by Brophy.

The brooch was in fact a sophisticated homing device which enables Lady Penelope and Parker to track the Duchess after she is kidnapped by Chandler and Brophy.

Tied up in a CellarEdit

The Duchess is tied up in the basement of an old house and the crooks engineer a gas leak as they make off with the painting.

The RescueEdit

In the Duchess' attempts to free herself, she causes the gas to explode and the house begins to crumble around her. The St Christopher homing device alerts International Rescue that something is wrong, and soon Thunderbirds 1 and 2 are soon at the scene.

Virgil tunnels into the basement in the Mole, While Scott holds the crumbling wall up with the Domo, The Duchess is rescued in the nick of time, after the Domo is no longer able to hold the wall up.

Hospital RecoveryEdit

The Duchess is taken to hospital, were she is visited by Wilbur Dandridge. He revels the fate of the Braquasso painting, but the Duchess is unconcerned for that painting was a copy. The real painting was rolled up inside her umbrella the whole time.

A magazine wants to buy the Duchess's life story, and as soon as she is back on her feet, she is back in the casino.



The Duchess of Royston, lived in Royston Castle , but had to put in on the market due to gambling depts.



  • The face and voice of the Duchess are based on those of actress Dame Edith Evans.
  • The Duchess (or rather, her puppet) later makes a couple of cameo appearances at the Paradise Peaks Hotel in The Cham-Cham. First, she is seen sitting in the cocktail lounge, and shortly after, Cass Carnaby has a portrait of her hanging on the wall of his dressing room.
  • The portrait image appeared again on the front page of the Foxley Heath Times, in the Thunderbirds 1965 episode The Stately Homes Robberies.
  • Her puppet also appears twice in the movie Thunderbirds Are Go: first at the press conference, wearing her yellow sweater, and again later, at the nightclub Swinging Star, wearing her blue dress.