Noblesse Oblige is the fourteenth episode and second to the last episode of the last season of the original 1970s UK period drama, Upstairs, Downstairs. This episode was written by John Hawkesworth and directed by Cyril Coke. This episode shows the aggravation of Georgina Worsley and her boyfriend Robert, the Marquis of Stockbridge, having to wait a year, and Ruby Finch's escapades working at a middle class house with a bullying woman who was much worse of temperament than Kate Bridges.
It is June 1929, and Georgina and Lord Stockbridge are seeing a lot of each other. He admits to being in love with her and she admits the same. When Stockbridge proposes, Georgina accepts.
His mother, the Duchess of Buckminster (Ursula Howells), tells Robert that she and the Duke disapprove. This is mainly because of the inquest and the press coverage Georgina has received over the years. However, a few days later Georgina is invited to tea with the Duchess, who tells Georgina that she and the Duke are sending Robert around the World for one year.
They feel that their son is not yet ready to marry or to run their large estate. When Georgina and Robert next meet, they agree to marry in exactly one years time, 12 June 1930.
Meanwhile, after getting fed up with Mrs. Bridges's constant rudeness to her, Ruby leaves Eaton Place during the night. She then writes to Richard Bellamy to ask for a reference, and gets a job as a cook-general on £46 a year.
In Lady Bellamy's absence, Georgina interviews Mabel Wilks (Elaine Donnelly) as replacement for Ruby, and she is soon employed. However, Mabel is not afraid to be insubordinate to Mrs Bridges, and is rude to everyone, even going so far as breaking the rules in the house by smoking in front of everyone else.
At one point, Daisy is tired of Mabel's nasty attitude, when she is told to bring in the sugar and outright defies her. The angry house parlor maid outright slaps her in the face, to the delight of Mrs. Bridges and Edward! The angry Mabel is finally cowed to bring the sugar in.
Meanwhile, Ruby's new mistress, a snobbish middle class woman named Mrs. Gladys Waddilove (Joan Sanderson) is a vicious bully, treating her as a maid of all work, and makes Ruby pay for breakages.
When Mrs. Bridges reads a letter from Ruby to Daisy, sensing she is absolutely unhappy, she visits Ruby. After hearing how exhausted Ruby is from the amount of work she must do, and witnessing Mrs Waddilove's abusive treatment of Ruby, Mrs Bridges tells off the nasty woman stating that Ruby maybe be slow but is a very hard working girl. She then brings Ruby back to Eaton Place where she rightly belonged (despite the innumerable threats of prosecution, suing, and jailing hurled at the two by the now servant-less Mrs. Waddilove).
Following the 1929 general election, Richard loses his Government post but remains in the House of Lords. Ruby is back to being scolded by Mrs. Bridges, but in this instance. Ruby is happier being back where she feels more at home.