|This article is about the Television Series character. You may be looking for the Railway Series character.|
Duchess (also known as Duchess of Loughborough) is a large cream tender engine that lives on The Mainland. Her job is to transport the Royal Family.
Thomas & Friends
Upon first meeting Thomas, Duchess mistook his coach for one of her own. Later, when Thomas went to the washdown, Duchess accidentally backed into him, causing him to be covered in coal dust. At the washdown, Duchess formally introduced herself to Thomas and apologised for her earlier behaviour, explaining that she had an important job and could not be late.
Duchess later met Thomas again on the Main Line, where the two briefly talked. Duchess continued on her way shortly after; however the two soon met once again when Duchess' safety valve burst and she was stranded. Upon learning that she was also headed to London, Thomas helped push Duchess and her train to Victoria Station. At Victoria Station, Thomas first learned of her status as a royal engine when Sir Topham Hatt noticed the crown on her buffer beam and the Queen stepped out of her coaches.
Duchess is described as "a lovely, warm, bubbly sort of effervescent engine who is very anxious to get things right." Although friendly, she can be forgetful, and she strives to be on time, while her tendencies to hurry can sometimes make her seem like she lost her manners. Despite this, she is goodhearted deep down, and very respectful, always looking to be the best she can.
Duchess is based on the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class. Designed by William Stanier and built at Crewe Works between 1937 and 1948, these 4-6-2 tender locomotives were built for express passenger services and, on a test, were the most powerful steam locomotives ever used in Great Britain. They were in service until 1962-1964 when they were withdrawn from service and scrapped en masse. Three examples have been preserved, including No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton at the National Railway Museum.
Duchess has some modifications from her original basis; her smoke deflectors are more akin to those on the Royal Scot Class, and she has an LNER corridor tender of the same design as Flying Scotsman's. She also has circular buffers as opposed to oval ones, as well as a single chimney as opposed to the double chimney used on the Coronation class.
Duchess is painted cream with gold lining and boiler bands. Her wheels, running plate, and buffer shanks are painted dark red, while her front bufferbeam is black. She carries two gold nameplates with red backing, one on each side of her boiler, as well as a removable crown symbol on her front end when carrying the Royal Family. The letters 'LMS' are written on her tender in gold with a red drop shadow, while her number is written in gold on her cab side.
- 2020 - Meet Duchess of England! (does not speak)
- Duchess' number 2020, is a reference to the year she was introduced.
- When Thomas first meets Duchess, she does not have the royal crest on her footplate. She only gains it after she meets Thomas again, as she is now pulling the Royal Train.
- Duchess' role as the royal engine is likely inspired by Duchess of Sutherland, a real-life member of her class which pulled the Royal Train in 2002 and 2005.
- Despite her full name being Duchess of Loughborough, her nameplate only reads Duchess.
- Multiple parts of Duchess' CGI model are recycled from other characters:
- Duchess' eccentric rods are not animated properly as they do not complete a full rotation around her larger connecting rods.
- In a promotional image for The Royal Engine, Duchess is missing her tender. This error was covered up in another version by placing Sir Topham Hatt in front of where her tender would be.
- Duchess is the first character created by Michael White as well as the first created under David Stoten´s tenure as head writer of the series.
- In several promos, Duchess is shown to have blush, despite not having any in her introductory episode. This may have been a concept for her.