Queen Maxima visited the Andheri railway station in Mumbai this afternoon and interacted with dabbawalas, Mumbai Dabbawalas Association spokesperson Subhash Talekar said.
"The queen met the dabbawalas at their duty switch point near Andheri railway station. She was welcomed in the traditional Maharashtrian way," he said.
"She met over 150 dabbawalas for around 30 minutes and got to know how we operate. We had planned to welcome her with dhol-taashe (drums) but her office advised her against it," another Association functionary said.
"She was given a replica of the large wooden crate we carry on our heads (tiffins are packed in this crate). It had miniature tiffins too," he said.
Association secretary Vitthal Sawant briefed the queen on how the dabbawalas negotiate overcrowded suburban trains and roads. Mr Sawant also clicked a selfie with her.
Queen Maxima @UNSGSA visits Mumbai #dabbawalas lunch delivery service. The monthly payments that were once made in cash to 5000 dabbawala's, are now being done digitally via @Paytm payment system pic.twitter.com/8tbnYY9Mcr— Koninklijk Huis (@koninklijkhuis) May 30, 2018
Earlier this month, the dabbawalas celebrated the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by distributing sweets to relatives of patients outside government hospitals.
The dabbawalas, whose representatives had attended Prince Charles's second marriage some years ago, also sent a salwar kurta and a 'pheta' (turban) as wedding gift to Prince Harry and a 'Paithani' saree to his bride.