I realized, this weekend, that there's a royal element to the Netflix programs that DW and I have been watching, recently. And one of these shows, in particular, got me thinking of a royal connection that I wrote about in my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary.
This weekend, DW and I started watching The Queen's Gambit, the story of a young woman chess prodigy, brilliantly played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Whether you love chess or not, the story is quite riveting. We're only four episodes into the series, but we're hooked. We'll likely be finished it by mid-week.
|Image: Netflix, via Wikipedia|
I remembered that as a young teen, I had heard news about the rocky relationship between Prince Charles and Diana, and I remember thinking of the Queen's son as a dull and wretched person, and actor Josh O'Connor leaves the audience detesting Charles.
It was sometimes hard to watch Emma Corrin play Diana and not get lost, imagining her to be the real Princess of Wales. The costumes, the hair, and the makeup really captured Diana.
Watching this season of The Crown, and seeing Lady Diana portrayed on the small screen, DW and I were anticipating the ultimate outcome of this tragic person. It got me thinking of my novel because I devote a chapter to the untimely demise of Diana.
While my novel is largely fiction, there are many episodes within the pages that were taken from my own experiences while I was living in South Korea, from 1997 to 1999. And one of my most vivid memories of my two-year stay in that country was sitting in a friend's house, in Seoul, enjoying a weekend together, when a phone call told us to turn on CNN. Though it was only mid-afternoon in Korea on Sunday, August 31, 1997, it was just after one in the morning, in Paris. We tuned into the news shortly after the crash, when Diana, Dodi Fayed, Henri Paul, and Trevor Rees-Jones were still in the wreckage of the Mercedes.
We stayed glued to the television until shortly after the BBC came on air and announced to Britain that they had lost their princess. On the three-hour bus ride from Seoul to Chonju, DW and I held onto each other and said nothing. We were exhausted and sad.
While The Crown didn't end its fourth season with the demise of Diana, we know what must surely come in Season 5. Though the series is highly fictionalized, the truth lies in there as well. Just as my novel is fiction, with a dose of reality thrown in.
Re-reading Chapter 24 in Songsaengnim stirs up emotions for me, bringing be back to that TV set in Seoul, South Korea on August 31, 1997. I wonder if the same will happen, watching Season 5 of The Crown.
In the meantime, I'll lose myself in The Queen's Gambit.