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"Later she had kissed him goodbye with a sudden warmth, and for the hundredth time Bond had wondered why he bothered with other women when the most darling of them all was his secretary."
― Ian Fleming.[3]

Loelia Ponsonby, nicknamed 'Lil', was a fictional Principal Secretary of the 'Double-O' ('00') Section, an ultra-covert Black Ops unit within the British Secret Service. She acted as James Bond's shared personal secretary in several of Ian Fleming's novels from Moonraker (1955) until On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) and subsequently appeared in period continuation novels Devil May Care (2008) and Trigger Mortis (2015).

Biography

Early Life

Born to a family from Kent[4], She was a "year or two" older than Bond, putting her birthdate in the late 1910s. When she met Bond in 1950, she was an "inch or two" taller than him, making her slightly over six feet tall.[1]. She was the secretary to the original three 00 agents 007, 008, and 0011.[4].

Forever and a Day (2018)

After the death of the original 007 in 1950, Loelia was responsible for getting his replacement, James Bond comfortable in his new 5th floor office. She refused his attempt to call her "Lil", and the two shared awkward banter over their both being from Kent, and Bond's having visited a village called Ponsonby with his aunt as a boy. He asked for coffee, and on being brought a cup of the building's usual slop, he resolved to bring in his own before assuring Ponsonby that he would find the previous 007's killer, and acknowledging that the transition couldn't be easy for her. She thanked him, and he could tell that she was willing to be friends.[1][4].

Moonraker (1955)

Loelia Ponsonby worked in the Double-O Section office on the eighth floor of the Secret Service headquarters in London. She is described as "tall and dark with a reserved, unbroken beauty to which the war and five years in the Service had lent a touch of sternness".[5] A motherly figure to the Double-Os, Ponsonby was the secretary to 007, 008 and 0011. Often the object of their romantic advances, Ponsonby had no intention of becoming emotionally involved with any man with such a short life-expectancy. She maintained a dignified distance from the men, but secretly loved them all equally and worried when they were in danger.[5] Professionally, she was a member of the small company of Principal Secretaries who had access to the innermost secrets of the Service – "The Pearls and Twin-set" as they were called behind their backs by the other girls.[5]

From Russia with Love (1957)

She was quite superstitious and on one occasion warns Bond not to fly on Friday 13th.[3]

Trigger Mortis (2016)

Ponsonby was contacted by Agent 279 - going under the pseudonym "Dickson" - to arrange his customary game of golf at Swinley with Bond during his annual fortnight's leave from Hong Kong.[6]

For Your Eyes Only (1960)

Hinted to be a lover of architecture, she constantly reminds Bond that she had been with the Georgian Group to Italy.[7]

Thunderball (1961)

Her closest friend and colleague is M's secretary, Miss Moneypenny.[8]

Having pondered settling down since Moonraker, Loelia finally retires from the Service after marrying a member of the Baltic Exchange and is replaced by Mary Goodnight.

Devil May Care (2008)

Nearly two years after The Man with the Golden Gun[9], Loelia Ponsonby has returned to her post as Double-O Section secretary after giving birth to two healthy boys. After being told to get a mechanic out to the airport to replace his car windows, she chides Bond for his reckless driving and bristles when he playfully calls her 'Lil'.[2]

Behind the scenes

For the EON Productions film series, Loelia Ponsonby's flirtatious relationship with Bond is transferred to and replaced by Miss Moneypenny. Ponsonby nearly made an appearance in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, but she was removed from the final draft. The name of the character may be based on the Duchess of Westminster of the same name.[10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Anthony Horowitz (2018). Forever and a Day. Ian Fleming Publications, 25. ISBN 0062873628. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Faulks, Sebastian [2008] (28 May 2009). "Chapter 2. A Voice from the Past", Devil May Care (in English). Penguin; Reprint edition. ISBN 978-0141035451. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fleming, Ian [1957] (2002). "Chapter 13: B.E.A. Takes You There.", From Russia, with Love (in English). Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0141186801. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Anthony Horowitz (2018). Forever and a Day. Ian Fleming Publications, 26. ISBN 0062873628. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fleming, Ian [1955] (2004). "Chapter 1: Secret Paper-Work", Moonraker (in English). Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0141187563. 
  6. Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 15: Follow the Money", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, p.185. ISBN 9781409159155. “[this counterfeit note is] at least seven years old ... Back in 1950 they made a few changes to the design.” 
  7. Fleming, Ian (2006). "4: Risico", For Your Eyes Only (in English). Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0141188713. 
  8. Fleming, Ian [1961] (2004). "Chapter 7: Fasten Your Lap-Strap", Thunderball (in English). Penguin Classics. 
  9. Litt, Toby (6 June 2008). Really, James, you're all talk (English). The Guardian. Retrieved on 2018-07-06.
  10. Singh, Anita. "James Bond author Ian Fleming's letters to the real Miss Moneypenny", 22 October 2008. Retrieved on 7 January 2013. 

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