London's most unique British experiences
We've rounded up some quintessentially British experiences that you must try out in London this autumn season, from touring the queen's residence to exploring a Harry Potter exhibition.
There's nothing more uniquely British than the city's royal attractions. Snoop around the lavishly decorated state rooms of the Queen Elizabeth II's London home as Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public for a few months. Treasures on display include paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens. The palace is also hosting a temporary exhibition Royal Gifts, showcasing more than 200 presents given to the queen during her reign, including a Union Jack flag badge worn in space.
If you want to see pieces from Buckingham Palace's Royal Collection, head over to The Queen's Gallery. On display until November 12 is Canaletto and the Art of Venice, featuring dreamy artworks by the Venetian artist and his contemporaries showing the beauty of 18th-century Venice. Recharge your batteries at the gallery's grand Café at the Palace where you can indulge in afternoon tea with homemade cakes, pastries, sandwiches, loose-leaf tea and optional champagne.
Celebrate Princess Diana's chic style at Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace until February 28 of next year. Stunning garments on display include the iconic blue velvet gown that Diana famously wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House, and the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for the princess's engagement portrait in 1981.
If you want to experience a very British display of pomp and pageantry, don't miss the Lord Mayor's Show on November 11, an annual event which commemorates the election of the new head of London. Every November dating back to 1215, the newly elected mayor travels from the city to Westminster to pledge alliance to the crown. Nowadays, this takes the form of a colorful parade, featuring everything from military marching bands to samba dancing. The spectacular event concludes with a fireworks display over the river Thames.
For more traditional entertainment, check out the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church on October 1, London's 140-year-old tradition which sees participants dressed in their best dark suits covered in hundreds of bright pearl buttons. The celebration of the autumn harvest features Morris dancing, maypole dancing, marching bands, drummers and plenty of colorful characters.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the British Library is staging the exhibition Harry Potter: The History of Magic that's sure to be a real crowd pleaser. Delve into the traditions of folklore and magic that inspired the Potter books, as well as feasting your eyes on never-before-seen material from J.K. Rowling's archive. The exhibition is open until February 28 of next year.
Autumn in London is open and there is still time to catch many of these events as they remain open until early next year. Book your unique British experience by visiting united.com or through the United app. And while you're there, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #LondonIsOpen and #AutumnSeason.