Harriet Schulenburg

Harriet Schulenburg
First appearance Caroline's First Day
Last appearance The Special
Portrayed by Olivia Colman
Nickname(s) Hattie, Mrs. Chunky and Queen of Wobbles
Occupation Human Resources Administrator
Spouse(s) Ian Schulenburg
Children Oscar, Jamie, Robbie and Stuart

Harriet Schulenburg is a fictional character in the British sitcom Green Wing, played by Olivia Colman.


Harriet works in the human resources department of East Hampton Hospital. She is married to Ian (they met at an evening class), and has four children, Oscar, Jamie (who has extreme behavioral problems), Robbie (who at the age of seven is already homosexual) and Stuart. She is currently expecting a fifth child, though she does not want it, apparently because she "just knows" it will be another boy.

Harriet is overworked at the hospital, and even more so at home. She is constantly trying to juggle between her work life and her personal life, and constantly failing to do so. She forgets everything: the time of day, to drop the kids of at school, to pick them up from school, or even to put on a dress. Her fellow female co-workers, Karen Ball, Naughty Rachel and Kim Alabaster are always willing to help her. Her boss, Joanna Clore, is much less sympathetic.

But bringing up four, soon to be five children, has helped her become an expert in dealing with minor injuries such as scraped knees. She is especially good at getting things out of peoples noses. She once removed a pen top from Caroline Todd's left nostril. She has always wanted to buy a birthday cake in the shape of a pair of breasts and "put a candle on each nipple." Either that or run away and join the circus.

She once brought her pet ginger cat in to work after forgetting to take it to the vets. Joanna discovered the cat and promptly kicked it across the office, presumably killing it. Her son, Robbie (who appears in Series 2, Episode 7), also apparently gets through two hamsters a week. Harriet once found a dead one in her shoe, which Rachel put through the shredder. Harriet doesn't like to swear, once saying to Kim, "Oh, please don't swear" when Kim was having an argument with Karen, but when Lyndon asked her out, she responded to Kim, Rachel and Oliver's teasing by saying curtly, "Fuck off!" before looking very shocked.

Very little else is known about Harriet other than the fact that she wears large underpants, something that head of IT at the hospital Lyndon Jones finds attractive. Harriet recently told him that Ian might be thinking of leaving her for Rosie "Pin-Legs Slitty-Eyed" Kendal. They had a picnic and they had sex, but since then she has felt guilty, and has now dumped Lyndon. However, Ian learns of what has been going on, and throws Harriet out of the house.

When Joanna went on the run, the HR staff ran riot. Harriet started off slowly, by simply dropping files on the floor, but soon she was buying kittens, and the staff formed their own Lord of the Flies-like feral tribe, where it appeared that she was the kindest towards outsiders. However, during an argument, she stormed into Joanna's office, where it appears she made herself the head of the tribe by using her pregnancy to declare herself "the new mother". She was last seen with the other office girls, taking a kidnapped Martin Dear into Joanna's office.

Another fact known about Harriet is that she blinks continuously when she lies. Nicknames given to her by Ian include "Hattie", "Mrs. Chunky" and "Queen of Wobbles". She also drives a Peugeot 306 GL.


Ian, Oscar, Jamie, Robbie and Stuart Schulenburg

The relationship between Harriet and the rest of her family is very bad. Her children seem to be more in control of her than she is of them.

The relationship with Ian seems to be going worse as the program goes on. Ian is not only leaving her for Rosey “Pin-Legs Slitty-Eyed” Kendal, but he eventually throws Harriet out of the house after her affair with Lyndon.


Harriet does not really get on with her boss. Joanna cares very little for her troubles at home. When she discovers Harriet is pregnant, she rubs the pain in.

When Lyndon goes out with Harriet, Joanna tries to stop Harriet by overworking her, but Lyndon foils the plan by having a picnic in the office.

These are a few notes Joanna has given Harriet, as listed in Green Wing - The Complete First Series Scripts:

Karen, Kim and Rachel

Harriet does get on well with her fellow co-workers, who are often the most sympathetic to her problems.

They try to help her when she needs it the most, such as trying to make her remember which of the children she is meant to pick up. Harriet is also the most caring person with Karen.


Lyndon first felt attracted to Harriet when he learned how big her pants were. In order to get out of dating Joanna, he goes out with Harriet. Despite Joanna’s best attempts to stop them, they still have a picnic in the office, with Harriet for some reason having paper plates on her.

After a night of passion, Harriet feels guilty, and decides to dump Lyndon, but when Ian learns of the relationship, he throws her out of the house.

Other relationships

Harriet does not come into contact with much of the medical staff. She was once confronted in the corridor by Alan who tried to ask sex from her, and Angela knows her as well. She turned to her for help when Caroline got a pen top stuck up her nose.

External links

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