The Pilgrims Society, founded on 16 July 1902 by Sir Harry Brittain KBE CMG, is a British-American society established, in the words of American diplomat Joseph Choate, 'to promote good-will, good-fellowship, and everlasting peace between the United States and Great Britain'. It is not to be confused with the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Over the years it has boasted an elite membership of politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and writers who have included Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, Caspar Weinberger, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Henry Luce, Lord Carrington, Alexander Haig, Paul Volcker, Thomas Kean, George Shultz, and Walter Cronkite among many others. Members of the immediate Royal Family, United States secretaries of state and United States ambassadors to the Court of St. James's are customarily admitted ex officio to membership in the Society.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a speech to the Society on March 18, 1941.
The first meeting of the Pilgrims of the United States was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on 13 January 1903.
The Pilgrims of Great Britain and the Pilgrims of the United States have reciprocal membership.
Executive Committee members, as of 2020, are:
- Marshal of the Royal Air Force the Lord Stirrup KG GCB AFC (President)
- Mrs Diane Simpson (Chairman)
- Sir Stephen Wright KCMG (Honorary Secretary)
- Mr Richard Reid (Honorary Treasurer)
- Mr Abdul Bhanji
- Sir Peter Bottomley MP
- Mr Peter Cadbury
- Professor Stephen J. Challacombe
- Mr Piers Coleman
- Mr Paul Dimond CMG
- Mr Tristan Elbrick
- Mrs Kweilen Hatleskog
- Mrs Valerie Humphrey
- Ms Yael Lempert, Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy, London
- Sir David Newbigging OBE
- Sir Bryan Nicholson GBE
- Mr Mark Seligman
- Air Marshal Sir David Walker KCVO OBE
- Ms Xenia Wickett
- Admiral Sir George Michael Zambellas, GCB, DSC, ADC, DL, FRAeS
Mrs Amy Thompson is the Executive Secretary, successor to Mrs Tessa Wells
- Queen Elizabeth II
- Prince Philip
- Prince Charles
- Senator Nelson W. Aldrich
- Ambassador Winthrop W. Aldrich
- Philanthropist John Nicholas Brown II
- Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler
- NATO Secretary General Lord Carrington
- Ambassador John W. Davis
- Vice President Charles G. Dawes
- Admiral William J. Crowe
- Senator Chauncey Depew
- CIA Director Allen W. Dulles
- Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
- Ambassador James W. Gerard
- General Alexander Haig
- Ambassador to the United States Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax
- Ambassador W. Averell Harriman
- Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy
- Ambassador Henry R. Luce
- Financier John Pierpont Morgan Sr.
- Congressman Ogden Reid
- Ambassador Whitelaw Reid
- Publisher Ogden Mills Reid
- Publisher Whitelaw Reid (journalist)
- Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
- Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
- Attorney General Elliot Richardson
- General of the Army George C. Marshall
- Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon
- Oil Refiner John D. Rockefeller
- Banker David Rockefeller
- Secretary of State Elihu Root
- Banker Jacob Schiff
- Ambassador John Hay Whitney
- Theologian Robin Ward
- "The Pilgrims Society and Public Diplomacy, 1895–1945". Edinburgh University Press Books. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Churchill, Winston S. Speech by the Prime Minister Mr. Winston Churchill to the Pilgrim Society, March 18, 1941. New York: The British Library of Information (1941).
- Baker, Anne Pimlott (2002). The Pilgrims of Great Britain: A Centennial History. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-290-3.
- Baker, Anne Pimlott (2003). The Pilgrims of the United States: A Centennial History. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-726-3.
- "The Pilgrims". Retrieved 19 April 2013.