Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013)
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The Theft of the Royal Ruby 

Poirot reluctantly agrees to help an Egyptian prince recover a valuable royal ruby that was brazenly stolen from him during the Christmas holidays.



(dramatized by), (dramatized by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Treves ...
Colonel Lacey
Mrs Lacey
David Howey ...
Tariq Alibai ...
Helena Michell ...
Sarah Lacey
John Vernon ...
David Welwyn
Nigel Le Vaillant ...
Desmond Lee-Wortley
Robyn Moore ...
John Dunbar ...
Alessia Gwyther ...
Jonathan R. Scott ...
Colin (as Jonathan S. Bancroft)
Edward Holmes ...
Siobhan Garahy ...
Annie Bates
Susan Field ...
Mrs Ross


When Prince Farouq of Egypt foolishly lets a tart wear a fabulously valuable royal ruby, she simply walks away with it. With Hastings away in Scotland for the Christmas holidays, Poirot finds himself spending Christmas with the Lacey family. Colonel Lacey, a well-known Egyptologist, was one of the few people who knew the ruby was in England. As Poirot investigates, he learns that the Colonel is having financial difficulties and also that one of the house guests, Desmond Lee-Wortley, may not be of the soundest character. With the help of the children in the household, Poirot sets a trap for the thief. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

murder mystery | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

24 February 1991 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


David Suchet was a guest at a lunch with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. When Suchet chose a mango from a fruit bowl but didn't know the proper way to peel it, the Duke demonstrated. Suchet later asked the scriptwriters to include the incident. On screen, Poirot peels the mango, and says, 'A certain duke taught me'." See more »


The cook had prepared two plum puddings, a large one for Christmas and a smaller one for New Years. The larger one was dropped while being cooked and it was stated that the smaller one was served at Christmas but during the meal it was obviously the larger pudding served. See more »


[first lines]
Prince Farouk: One of my father's most valued possessions. From the reign of the Pharaoh Pherisees.
[Waiter empties Champagne into his glass]
Prince Farouk: Some more.
Waiter: Yes, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: And some coffee for the woman.
Waiter: Very good, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: [as Iris rises] Where're you going?
Iris Moffatt: Just going to powder my nose; won't be a minute.
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O Come, All Ye Faithful
Lyrics (English translation from Latin) by Frederick Oakeley
Lyrics and Music by John Francis Wade
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User Reviews

Mostly good fun
13 June 2016 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

For the most part, this is an entertaining episode. There were not too many extra frills necessary to fill this out, but I did appreciate the way they used Egyptology to connect Poirot to King's Lacey, (although, the prince being from Egypt, I don't see why they couldn't have made more of a connection there). I enjoyed Poirot's playfulness here, from his initial reaction to the Belgian chocolates, to his mango cutting demonstration, to his willingness to play along with the little "show" the kids were putting on for him, to the gracious way he treated the maid who tried to warn him. (Annie Bates? Didn't the maid from the Adventure of the Clapham Cook also have that name? And didn't she also get similar treatment from Poirot? Coincidence?) In the original story, the villain was shown to be a very unpleasant fellow, I wish they had spent a little more time with that here. But mostly, I was unhappy with the way they portrayed the prince as such a childish brat. That was unnecessary, I thought.

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