Lectures and Speaking


Speaking at the Clinton Presidential Library and Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, November 2019 (above)

'I'm grateful that you were able to speak at the Clinton Presidential Center, and for the good work you're doing to share Anne's wisdom in new ways - the lessons of her life are as important as ever. You have my best wishes.' President Bill Clinton, February 2020

Speaking at 10 Downing Street in 2014 (PM's wife Samantha Cameron is on the right)

I am a popular and in demand speaker, having spoken in locations as diverse as 10 Downing Street in London,  the United Nations in New York, the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, the Union League Club of Philadelphia and many cruise ships around the world. I can speak to large community, corporate and educational audiences on a range of topics connected to the life and times of Anne Frank and my 25-year experience of educating about her. I also offer lectures on fascinating social history topics.

My talks and lectures are tailored for audience profile, nationality, age and time restraints. Usually 45 - 60 minutes in length, and given with a richly illustrated Powerpoint presentation. All talks, speeches and lectures can be delivered without images and can include a Q&A.

For downloadable and live streamed lectures used during the Coronavirus lock down and beyond, the two lectures on Anne Frank's life and legacy are combined into one, entitled 'What We Can Learn From Anne Frank, Anne's Life and Surprising Legacy'. For age 10 up and cross curriculum for school use. For pricing see information on Home page http://gillianwalnesperry.com/

  • The world’s most famous diarist - Anne Frank, Her Life 

I have worked with the story of Anne Frank for 30 years, both in the UK and internationally, and have a unique insight into her life and times. While building the Anne Frank Trust, I have been privileged to meet some of those who knew Anne Frank and who have quietly shared their personal memories with me, as well as hundreds of Holocaust survivors who had parallel experiences to those of Anne Frank and some of whom were with her in the concentration camps.

I take the story of Anne’s life through her family background in Frankfurt, their flight to Amsterdam, Anne’s emerging personality as a popular and irreverent school girl, her desperation in hiding (as described to me by the family’s courageous helper Miep Gies), her physical and emotional transition into an adolescent and her developing moral framework, which has proved to be an inspirational to millions. I describe Anne’s tragic and poignant last days, including from first hand witnesses.

Through the years, Gillian has become an international figure associated with the legacy of Anne Frank. She is like no other individual. Lisa S Hoffstein, former Director, Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, New York

  • The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank 

This lecture covers the remarkable story of how Anne’s magical thread has woven itself around the world. From the hard fought publication of Anne’s diary in 1947 (and how it so nearly didn’t happen), to the creation of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and the effect of learning about Anne Frank on millions of people around the world, some in desperate and difficult situations. It contextualises the Anne Frank educational projects against the background of world history over the past 30 years and explains the impact she has had in some of the world’s most turbulent and violent regions.

I will also talk about some of the remarkable people who have been involved in my work, including Nelson Mandela, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Steven Spielberg, A-list stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie, music legends and royalty. There will be surprising insights into all these people and my encounters with them.  I also describe the unforgettable night attending the 1996 Academy Awards in Hollywood together with Miep Gies, the courageous helper of the Frank family in hiding.

This talk is based on my popular book 'The Legacy of Anne Frank' and can include readings from the book, plus a book signing.

Gillian Walnes Perry visited Syracuse University in November of 2019. She was brilliant, compassionate, warm, and expert in her content delivery, communication style, and engagement with participants.  The audience included university students, faculty, administrators and staff, chaplains, and members of the local community.  We remain very grateful for her wisdom and connectedness.  Dr Diane R. Wiener, Research Professor and Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University

Those in attendance adored you and were deeply moved and inspired.  Your beautifully written accounts of everything - including how Nelson Mandela and Audrey Hepburn’s lives were deeply influenced by Anne Frank’s diary – were a revelation, and your lively delivery, connecting with each and every member of the audience, was as natural and human as it was masterful. Dr Jud Newborn, founding historian and creator of the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage

I have attended several online events this summer and this was my favourite one. Gillian's ability to instill hope and inspiration into what can sometimes be heavy material, is a great talent. Michael Demone, Lecturer, University of Toronto

Thank you again so much for being our speaker at Founders’ Day yesterday. I have had lots of positive comments today about how much people appreciated your inspirational words.  Alistair Brien, Head Teacher, Bournemouth School for Girls

Thank you for everything.   It was such a powerful and moving night.  I have received incredible feedback. Jill Landgraber, Glen Ridge High School, New Jersey

Gillian Walnes Perry is an amazing speaker. She broaches the very serious and mature topic of Anne Frank's life in a sensitive, engaging and age appropriate manner. Her presentation is educational, thought provoking, inspirational and hopeful. We are grateful that our students were able to experience this opportunity. Mara Starkey, Librarian, Covington School, Los Altos, CA

  • Amsterdam Through Anne Frank's Eyes This Lecture combines Anne Frank's life linked to relevant sights in Amsterdam. Highly interesting for those planning a visit to the city. A very big thank you for presenting your lecture ‘Amsterdam Through Anne Frank’s Eyes’ for our Viking TV audience yesterday. It was such a fascinating and informative talk, you have such a lovely friendly style of presenting, and the audience were certainly very engaged with the topic.  We all enjoyed it very much -  it is such a touching story and is definitely one of my favourite livestreams to date.  Clare Armitage, Viking Cruises


  • Tea Anyone? The Social History of Afternoon Tea

How tea drinking was first introduced into England, and how afternoon tea was popularised and became the social institution of the UK.

Using vibrant on screen displays, this talk includes the introduction of delicious tea menu items; the customs and etiquette surrounding afternoon tea; examples of the finest silver and porcelain tea ware, and the rise of public tea rooms and tea dances. (During national Afternoon Tea Week, I was interviewed by six BBC radio stations about the history and etiquette of afternoon tea, as well as writing articles for newspapers and websites).

Gillian gave an online lecture on The Social History of English Afternoon Tea to Historic Houses members and we could not have been happier by the feedback we’ve had from them. Her storytelling, presentation slides, and attention to detail made for a fun and fascinating talk, and we’ll certainly be looking to arrange many more events with Gillian in the near future.” Dominic Head, Historic Houses

Gillian was a fantastic speaker providing a thoroughly well researched, entertaining and interesting foray into the customs and history of tea drinking, the origins of afternoon tea and some informative and amusing anecdotes about the customs and rituals which we have to this day as we enjoy our tea and sweet treats.  A really fabulous afternoon Cathy Mosley, Live, Laugh, Love

  • The Fascinating Lives of the European Royal Families

This lecture, explores how the European monarchies are interconnected, how they were created, their links to the British royal family through Queen Victoria, as well as focusing on some fascinating characters in the royal families of Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, past and present. Some inspiring, some controversial and some surprisingly racy lives are covered.

  • Why are you wearing that? The rise of leisure time and leisure wear

This lecture explains the introduction of clothing suited to leisure, sports and holidays. We now take leisure wear as part of life, but how did informal and practical leisure clothing come about?

As leisure time grew, and women could join men in undertaking sporting and leisure activities, clothing was adapted for both sexes. This lecture covers Victorian seaside and the earliest sportswear, the introduction of trousers for women, and the evolving of leisure wear throughout the 20th century. There are interesting insights for both men and women.

  • Mediterranean food - how it changed British dining 

In the middle of the 20th century the British adopted a curiosity about new cuisines both in their own kitchens and eating out, through inspired cookery writers and flamboyant restaurateurs who dramatically changed the face of the British home and restaurant scene. I describe the impact on the post war British diet of Mediterranean flavours and ingredients, as well as the history of immigration to Britain from Mediterranean countries and the development of British tourism to those countries.


A selection of my previous and forthcoming talks (scroll down the list for latest). All forthcoming talks are listed, but I have only included a small and varied selection of previous talks. I have not included my many cruise lecturing assignments.  

Prince Philip Memorial Lecture

Delivering the inaugural Prince Philip Memorial Lecture at his former school, Gordonstoun, 25 February 2022

Heartfelt thanks for joining us at Gordonstoun School to deliver the inaugural Prince Philip Memorial Lecture. You spoke so well to three different age groups across the school making her life story accessible, fascinating and relevant; our youngest pupils couldn’t contain their enthusiasm for questions and during our senior school lecture we could have heard a pin drop, such was the skill of your delivery. The legacy, illustrating need of understanding and tolerance between communities could not be more relevant in our world today. Thank you for joining us and for making the inaugural Prince Philip lecture so memorable.  Karen MacGregor, Director of Student Development

The excellent turnout of students on a week when they have several major assignments due is a testament to the esteem with which they hold you and your knowledge of all things Anne Frank. My students have benefited enormously from your knowledge and expertise and your willingness to answer their questions. Dr Jennifer Craig-Norton, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southampton 

August 2015    Magna Carta 800 Human Rights Festival Lincoln - keynote speaker

November 2015    Keynote speaker at Association of State Girls’ Schools national conference, London

February 2017    Bedfordshire Police Anti-Hate Crime Conference - keynote speaker

May 2017    University of Southampton Department of History - Anne Frank, Her Life on Film

June 2017    Hanbury Manor Hotel, Ware, Herts - Social History of English Afternoon Tea

August 2017    Leeds Castle, Kent - Social History of English Afternoon Tea

January 2018    Bedford Holocaust Memorial Day - Keynote speaker

June 2018    Master of Ceremonies at the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards in New York

August 2018    Woburn Abbey - The Social History of English Afternoon Tea

September 2018   Chiswick Book Festival - The Legacy of Anne Frank and book signing

October 2018  Anne Frank House Amsterdam - The Legacy of Anne Frank book launch

October 2018  Southwark Cathedral  Interview by the Dean of Southwark on The Legacy of Anne Frank 

December 2018 Lawrence Hall Chicago;  Illinois Holocaust museum; St Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Chicago; Hudson Valley Area Library  - The Legacy of Anne Frank

January 2019  Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington, New York - The Legacy of Anne Frank

February 2019  4th 7.00 pm Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster - The Legacy of Anne Frank and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Anne Frank Declaration 

May 2019 8th Swiss Cottage Library - The Surprising Legacy of Anne Frank

June 2019 10th 2.30 pm Down House, Orpington, Kent - The Social History of English Afternoon Tea

June 2019 17th  Edison Hotel, New York City MC for the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards and gala

June 2019 23rd - The Olga Legyel Institute annual teachers' conference NYC

August 2019 1st  Union League Club of Philadelphia - The Surprising Legacy of Anne Frank

October 2019 17th  Prior Park School, Gibraltar  The Life and Legacy of Anne Frank

November 2019 5th Clinton Presidential Library & Center, Little Rock Arkansas, 'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank' plus teachers' workshop

November 2019 11th Burton Black Institute, Syracuse University, New York 'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank

December 2019 10th Princeton Jewish Center NJ  'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank'

December 2019 17th Bournemouth School For Girls Prize Giving Day, keynote speaker

February 2020 4th St Alban's Abbey 'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank'

June 8th Bromley High School  'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank' (live streamed)

July 24th Context Travel 'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank' series of five lectures (live streamed)

August 2nd Sydney Jewish Museum and J-Wire 'The Surprising Global Legacy of Anne Frank' (live streamed)

September 2020 29th Pearson Education Panellist 'Education in the New Normal' (live streamed webinar)

November 2020 British Women's Club of Boca Raton 'The Social History of British High Tea

January 2021 Baltimore Public Library 'The Life and Surprising Legacy of Anne Frank' 

January 2021 Lewisham Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.  Keynote speaker

9 March 2021 Viking Cruises TV. Amsterdam Through Anne Frank’s Eyes.

28 April 2021 Anne Frank Trust UK 30th anniversary event Keynote speaker

4 May 2021 Parkes Institute University of Southampton 'Anne Frank, Her Life and Surprising Global Legacy'

5 May 2021 Kennesaw University, Georgia USA 'Anne Frank, Her Life and Surprising Global Legacy'

11 May 2021 Oxford Women's Luncheon Club 'Anne Frank, Her Life and Surprising Global Legacy'

8 June 2021 South Africa Holocaust & Genocide Centre 'Anne Frank, Her Life and Surprising Global Legacy'

31 August 2021 Funny Women podcast motivational talk

24 October 2021 Sousa Mendes Foundation, New York 'Personal Memories of Miep Gies' (Anne Frank's helper)

12 December 2021 Garden Tea Room Pennsylvania. 'The Social History of English Afternoon Tea'

27 January 2022 Bedfordshire Council Keynote speaker for Holocaust Memorial Day event

25 February 2022 Inaugural Prince Philip Memorial Lecture for Gordonstoun School, Scotland

3 March 2022 Gillespie High School Illinois 'Anne Frank, the Girl Behind the Diary' 

7 March 2022 The Grove School Milton Keynes Culture Day speaker

26 April - 4 May 2022 Viking cruise to Greece and its islands  Five lectures on aspects of Greek history

24 June 2022 Keynote speaker Emanu-el Synagogue Charleston, South Carolina - marking 75th anniversary of publication of Anne Frank's diary

29 June 2022 Fairmont Macdonald Hotel, Edmonton, Canada The social history of English afternoon tea

30 June 2022 Monarchist League of Alberta Canada The social history of English afternoon tea

14 August 2022 Searcys @ 116 Pall Mall The social history of English afternoon tea

25 August 2022 Association of Jewish Refugees The social history of English afternoon tea