Honey is from China, and first appeared when Uncle Duke became an ambassador there, as his assistant and translator. She had a very odd position in the government; after Chairman Mao suffered a stroke, she was the only interpreter who was (mostly) able to understand his babbling. It has been implied that the entire cultural revolution may have been caused by Honey misunderstanding Mao.
After Duke returned to the states, Honey became a foreign exchange student, and came to the U.S. herself. She was roommates with J.J., and attended classes taught by Henry Kissinger. By this point she had developed feelings for Duke, and began telling people that they were involved. This was really just her own wishful thinking; Duke was more or less oblivious to her, as he was toward everything else.
Although Doonesbury has a fairly rigid and reliable continuity for a humor strip, one of its most notable goofs involved Honey; when J.J. encountered her on the Trump Princess they showed no signs of having ever met before, despite being roommates for a substantial period of time. Trudeau has called this his "greatest plot blunder."
Soon Duke started to take advantage of her trust in him, getting her to supply him with money (provided by the Chinese government for her education) to fund his many scams. She dropped out of school to tag along with him as his assistant, and has been with him more or less ever since.
Honey's personality is very different from Duke's. She is basically innocent and well meaning, in contrast to his self-serving attitude. At first she seemed completely blind to Duke's faults; despite all evidence to the contrary she thought that his various "projects" were done out of a genuine desire to help humanity. She thought that he had taken up a job as a fisherman, when he was really smuggling drugs in his boat. When he switched to smuggling immigrants (at $300 a head), she concluded that he was taking them on cruises.
Over the years Honey has caught on to Duke's true nature, but this hasn't affected her feelings for him at all. Despite his constant verbal abuse of her (and willingness to abandon her at a moment's notice) she truly believes that he loves her.
Originally, Honey was a communist, but has since grown disillusioned with those views (though she still always wears her beloved Mao jacket). Although her politics are not very well defined, she seems to be a believer in the "American Dream". She became a naturalized American Citizen in the early 1990s after she married Duke as part of a plot cooked up by Donald Trump to gain positive publicity for himself when he learned that the Chinese government wanted to execute Honey for (inadvertently) taking part in--and surviving-- the Tiananmen Square Protest. Trump used his fortune to locate and rescue Honey from China, and then arranged her marriage to Duke (who did it in exchange for money from Trump) to make her an American citizen--rescuing her from possible extradition to China and execution. Honey briefly remained married to Duke, but quickly became disillusioned when she found out that it had been arranged as a publicity stunt; she and Duke went to Mexico for a quickie divorce, though they continued to live together with Mike and JJ Doonesbury because they had no place else to go. The pair eventually moved out and went their separate ways after they were arrested (and later acquitted) for crack possession when Mike was mistaken for a crack dealer and his home raided by the DEA.
She still assists Duke on his felonious exploits, but is now sensible enough to recognize them for what they are. She is a humanitarian, and dislikes his corruption, even going so far as to sabotage some of his plans. Despite this, she remains devoted to him, and proudly described herself as Duke's "Assistant and love slave", although the latter title is more a result of her wishful thinking than any actual arrangement between them.
Like many women in abusive relationships, Honey has left and returned to Duke many times. She abandoned Duke when he made her sleep in a life boat during his successful attempts to scam the U.S. government out of thousands of dollars worth of hurricane relief effort following Katrina. At the time of her February 2006 departure, Honey had gone to work for FEMA. But in a one time hint of things to come, she has rematerialized in China, working in the IOC credentials department for the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she is well positioned to abet Uncle Duke's efforts on behalf of the bogus Olympics team from his lobbying client, the fictional country of Berzerkistan.