• Audio contentPolitical map of Africa (catalogue reference CO 700/AFRICA27)

    Lines on the map: records of international boundaries

    The National Archives holds one of the largest and most important accumulations of maps in the world.  They document the United Kingdom’s involvement in shaping boundaries and in resolving boundary disputes over many centuries, either as a colonial power, neutral…

  • Audio contentFormer Embassy of the United Kingdom in Madrid, Spain, 2008. (GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2)

    Writer of the month: The Spanish ambassador’s suitcase

    Matthew Parris and Andrew Bryson discuss their new book, The Spanish ambassador’s suitcase. Matthew Parris worked for the Foreign Office and the Conservative Research Department before serving as MP for West Derbyshire. He joined The Times as parliamentary sketchwriter in…

  • Audio contentTreaty of Paris 1793 (catalogue reference SP 113/144)

    The Chevalier d’Eon: Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777

    In 1763 peace broke out between France and Britain, ending the Seven Years War. The defeated superpower France was left nursing its wounds, as well as thoughts of revenge. While King Louis XV’s foreign minister sought to maintain the peace,…

  • Audio contentValor Ecclesiasticus illuminated heading, 1535 (catalogue reference E 344/22 f2)

    ‘A World of Their Design’: The men who shaped Tudor diplomacy

    In a time of shifting politics and world changing events, three men would emerge as masterful diplomats, ambassadors and advisors who possessed a shrewd political acumen. They each shared a complex and intriguing relationship with the other, while manipulating the…

  • Audio contentPortrait of Queen Anne, 1702 (catalogue reference T 40/4)

    ‘Things as are all Forms, & Ceremonys’: Ritual and authority in the reign of Queen Anne

    Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, impatient with courtly ritual, gave Queen Anne grudging praise for her knowledge of protocol: ‘She has the greatest memory that ever was, especially for such things as are all forms, & ceremonys, giving people their due…

  • Audio contentCentenary of the start of the First World War

    Peacetime diplomacy and the New European Order

    Professor Alan Sharp, of the University of Ulster, examines diplomacy after the Paris Peace Conference. This talk was recorded live at the one-day conference, War and peace – diplomacy, espionage and the First World War, held on 28 June 2014…

  • Audio contentWindsor Castle, birthplace of Margaret, wife of King Alexander III of Scotland (catalogue reference COPY 1/552)

    Keeping it in the family

    In a period where politics could not be separated from dynasty and the personal relationships between individuals were crucial to government, women often played a key role in diplomacy. This was certainly the case in relations between England and Scotland…

  • Authors


You can find help on how to download and listen to our podcasts in our quick guide to getting started. If you wish to re-use any part of a podcast, please note that copyright in the podcasts and transcripts in some cases belongs to the speakers, not to the Crown. Please contact the Copyright Officer with queries. If commenting, please be aware of our moderation policy.


Select an option to receive our free podcast series, using either RSS or iTunes. See our help guide for more information on podcast subscription.