Podcast: The royal spell, cancelling Russian culture, protecting journalists

France's fascination with Queen Elizabeth II and the British monarchy; being a Russian artist in France in the wake of the Ukraine war; a Parisien house marks two decades of helping journalists in exile.

Some seven million French people watched coverage of the funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, that ended nearly two weeks of mourning and accolades for the British royal family. France's interest in the Queen and the British monarchy seems incongruous, given that France is the land of the Revolution and overthrew its own monarchy in 1789. Catherine Marshall, professor of British history and politics, talks about what draws French people to the Queen, and why the French might be wistful for their own monarch. (Listen @0')

France’s large Russian diaspora includes many artists and intellectuals who’ve built on cultural ties laid down in the late 18th century by enlightenment philosopher Diderot and Empress Catherine the Great. But the war in Ukraine has put a strain on relations – inciting calls for cultural boycotts. Russian-born painter Masha Schmidt talks about setting up the ArtetPaix (Art and Peace) project to encourage aid to Ukraine, and why the closeness of Franco-Russian cultural ties may limit the cancelling of Russian artists. (Listen @13'30'')

The Maison des journalistes (Journalists' house) is celebrating 20 years of helping persecuted journalists settle into exile in France. (Listen @9'10'')

Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).