The Mumbai dabbawalas bought traditional gifts for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for their wedding

Mumbai:  The famous dabbawalas or tiffin carriers of Mumbai will be celebrating the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a special way. A few days back they had announced that they are going to distribute sweets to relatives of patients at the government-run Tata Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital and Wadia Hospital. And now they have a new surprise for the couple. They have gone shopping! For Prince Harry, they bought the famous Kolhapuri “pheta“- a traditional Maharashtrian turban and a Paithani saree for actor Meghan Markle.

The dabbawalas took a break from their routine of going around offices on cycles laden with lunch boxes, and went shopping in the Lalbaug area of central Mumbai. They chose a saffron-coloured pheta for the young prince, at whose father’s wedding, they were among the invitees.

“We brought traditional wedding presents for the royal couple today,” Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association told PTI.

Apart from the saree and pheta, they also bought a kurta-pyjama for the prince and a mangalsutra and green glass bangles for Ms Markle. Green glass bangles are considered auspicious for newly-wed brides in Maharashtra.

Prince Harry, 33, fifth-in-line to the British throne, and Ms Markle, 36, are set to exchange vows at the St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19.

The relationship of Mumbai’s dabbawalas and the royal family dates back to 2003, when Prince Charles had come on his maiden visit to Mumbai. He had then met the dabbawalas and had lauded their work acumen, accuracy and punctuality and was impressed with their work culture.

The royal family had sent an invite to the dabbawalas to attend the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005.

The dabbawalas are going to distribute sweets at the government-run hospitals on the day of the wedding.

A lot of speculation has surrounded the wedding with discussions ranging from wedding dresses to wedding cakes, to bridesmaids and the bride’s father. The wedding marks the entry of the first mixed race woman in the royal family.

(With PTI inputs)



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