I always find it a little jarring that Picard and much of his relatives seem to have such a clear English accent despite the fact that the show makes such a big deal about his French ancestry. His Father, for example, makes an appearance in Tapestry. Oddly he also has an English accent. Moreover, I find it odd that a French captain of the Enterprise was played by a well regarded British actor and not a French one. Was a French accent deemed "too thick" and hard to understand by American audiences? Is it simply the common meme that anyone foreign shown in popular American film and television must have an English accent? Picard's tastes too seem to be particularly British -- "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" anyone?
Also, what was the reaction on the part of the French to this? I'd imagine that they'd be offended (I'm assuming TNG was aired in France). Was there any outcry that a French actor was not selected?