It’s a war of the gritty, unyielding heroine at Netflix at the moment. There’s the tenacious Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, the humane and tragedy-stricken Princess Diana, and of course, the Queen of England, all from The Crown. There’s also the genius Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit. Beth and Diana are definitely the two young faces that are doing exceptionally well with costume drama loyalists and they both share some traits.
They’re both pathbreakers and have to live through a rather tumultuous time while braving personal battles. Plus, they both love a good dress-up and have a trademark hair-do. But what makes them likable and more importantly, who’s the more likable of the two? Beth or Diana?
10 Diana: Learns To Be Her Own Fighter
Diana enters the royal family for love but learns pretty early on that there’s no one watching her back. She was an outsider who was expected to work exceptionally hard to blend in; in The Crown, she was young, easily likable, and hopefully had potential to be the next Queen.
But Diana wasn’t a compliant trophy wife and though she was quickly labeled as difficult, her needs were simple and uncomplicated. All she wanted was love, dignity, and respect from her family but realized the hard way that the only one fighting on her side is her own self.
9 Beth: She’s A Survivor
It’s important to note that Beth lives through a time that was especially hard for women; if the ’80s weren’t breezy for Diana, the ’60s were quite brutal for Beth. But she never wanted to earn privileges because of her gender, she wanted to be judged by her merit.
She was an orphan who didn’t have a lot of people looking out for her, and yet she relied on herself to pursue a dream that was quite wild by popular standards, considering how chess was a male-dominated spectrum. When Borgov terms her a ‘survivor’ who’s like them, it makes for a curious moment of kinship between the two, and outlines Beth as someone who can find her way around the world unassisted.
8 Diana: Does Not Follow Rules Unquestioningly
In real life and on the Netflix drama, Diana is a rule-breaker, but not just in fashion or philanthropy but in her own life as well. Clearly, her life was a lot more high stakes than Beth’s, because she quickly became a global icon and realized that in many ways she’s the face of the royal family.
This was something she didn’t ask for because Diana was not obsessed with fame. Her priorities were rather simplistic and family-oriented, unlike many of her family members who were steadfastly worried about their image. So, Diana questions and challenges some major rules that could keep her away from her children or curb her freedom and refuses to toe the line.
7 Beth: An Innate Genius
This probably goes without saying but one of the main reasons the fans of The Queen’s Gambit like Beth is because of her sheer genius. There’s no getting around the fact that she was gifted and that set her apart from others. So, in many ways, the show is a reflection upon a brilliant but troubled mind.
Beth herself has not always been confident about the extent of her abilities, especially as she suffered from withdrawal from the drugs played a major part in her mental preparation for the game. But she eventually learns to trust herself in high stakes situations and accepts her genius.
6 Diana: A Fantastic Mom
Her fans and her family have unanimously agreed that Diana was a great mother; despite the overtly privileged lifestyle that the family led, she tried her hardest to keep her kids in touch with normalcy. In The Crown, Diana is seen driving her sons around, playing with them, and thinking about them first when planning her global appearances.
This depiction makes a lot of sense because Diana didn’t exactly long for a flurry of glamorous events or a jet-setting lifestyle but her life was anchored by her children. In real life too, she tried her best to help them cope with her divorce from Charles.
5 Beth: Doesn’t Let Emotions Get The Better Of Her
In the novel, Beth has often been referred to as ‘unsmiling’ and her pointed glare was one of the first things people noticed about her. She was not someone who wore her heart on her sleeve. It took her a while to open up even if she liked someone and wanted an intimate relationship with them.
Not to mention, a chess player needs to be stoic and can’t in any way give in to emotion during the game. And yet, she was surprisingly in touch with her emotions.
4 Diana: A Risk-Taker
Diana took risks when everyone around her told her not to, be it about her royal duties or her personal style or even when it comes to making decisions about her own life. It goes without saying that since she was a royal, her decision usually had big consequences and got a lot of public glare.
But Diana was not someone who could live life in accordance with what’s expected of her. When one looks at how friendless Diana was in the royal family, it really puts her brave decisions into perspective. She was aware that she had no ally, not even in her own husband or anyone else, and realized that she didn’t want to live a life oppressed by rules.
3 Beth: Acknowledges The Strength Of Her Competitors
Beth doesn’t take her competitors lightly and actually views every competitor as an equal risk, except for Borgov who was a chess superstar. But she never takes her talent too seriously.
A big reason for that is definitely her relationship with the tranquilizers, which have at one point aided her in playing better. And without them, she’s often been nervous to play. But even at her most confident, she does not lose sight of what her competitor is capable of doing.
2 Diana: A People’s Princess
Though Diana wasn’t brought up to be a royal, she quickly became a favorite with her own people and also people across the globe. She was not aloof or distantly graceful like most of her family members. She was humane, effervescent, and as she grew older, she started taking an interest in global crises.
This undoubtedly earned her a lot of love and a lot of criticism from her own family, because in some way they did feel eclipsed by her popularity. And yet, Diana, to this day is known as the People’s Princess and Emma Corrin’s portrayal gets the humanitarian aspect of her personality exactly right.
1 Beth: Does Not Get Carried Away By Fame
Much like Diana, Beth too has a difficult time coping with how famous she had become. It is important to note that Beth didn’t want to be acknowledged because of her gender but because of her talent.
And in the back of her mind, she was always aware that she’s being written about because she’s a woman playing chess and not just a very good chess player. Nevertheless, it kept her very rooted in her own reality and she never really got carried away by the idea of global fame or glory.
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