The pair spent some quality time together on Tuesday and were even joined by baby Archie

By Joelle Goldstein and Simon Perry
November 15, 2019 12:58 AM
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Meghan Markle had a special guest drop by her Windsor home this week.

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton paid a visit to Frogmore Cottage and met Meghan, 38, for the very first time after being secretly invited to the London residence by the Duchess of Sussex, PEOPLE confirms. Six-month-old Archie was also there for the visit.

“It was sweet,” a source says. “She got to hold him and snuggled him. She is very proud of Chelsea’s three kids and there was lots of chatter about newborns and feeding schedules.”

Meghan mentioned that Archie was crawling and Hillary said that it was “early for six months. It was a private and sweet moment. They were equally excited to meet each other,” the source adds of the outing, which was first reported by the Daily Mail.

Chelsea Clinton, who was in the U.K. with her mother as part of their book tour for The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, was unable to join as she had already left the country. Prince Harry was also not in attendance.

Hillary Clinton, Meghan Markle
Hillary Clinton and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage

A source says the women shared a hug before spending the afternoon together, where they hit it off and even discussed a letter Meghan wrote to Clinton when she was 11 demanding to remove a “sexist” dishwasher soap advertisement.

News of their meeting comes a few days after Clinton raved about Meghan while discussing the relentless attacks she’s been receiving from the British tabloids on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Oh my God, I want to hug her!” Clinton told host Emma Barnett on Tuesday. “I feel as a mother I just want to put my arms around her. I want to tell her to hang in there, don’t let those bad guys get you down. Keep going, do what you think is right.”

The 2016 Presidential candidate — who is on a publicity tour for The Book of Gutsy Women, co-authored by daughter Chelsea, 39 — added that Meghan should be given a break because all she’s done is fall in love and look to raise a family.

“She has made her own way in the world,” Clinton told the BBC. “Then she falls in love, and he falls in love with her, and everybody should be celebrating that because it is a true love story. You can just look at them and see that.”

Clinton added, “You know, it’s not easy. And there are some techniques that can be learned along the way, some humor, some deflection, whatever, which I’m sure she will come to. But it is tough what she is going through. And I think she deserves a lot better.”

Having been in the spotlight for decades, Clinton knows better than most what it’s like to have every aspect of your personal life raked over in public.

In Meghan’s case, the grandmother of three said she believes the criticism has been driven by a combination of sexism and racism, which she called “heartbreaking and wrong.”

“It takes some getting used to having your every move scrutinized and analyzed and, frankly, things made up about,” Clinton said. “I really wish her and her husband the very best because they are struggling to have a life of meaning and integrity in their own terms — and that’s hard enough if you’re just walking around in today’s world, but if you’re on that big a platform it’s really difficult.”

Sussex Royal Instagram
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie
| Credit: Sussex Royal Instagram

Clinton added: “You know, people don’t choose who they fall in love with — they fall in love. And she is an amazing young woman. She has an incredible life story. She has stood up for herself.”

The former Secretary of State also echoed her sentiments in an interview with The Sunday Times last month, noting that “the way she’s been treated [by the British media] is inexplicable.”

“If the explanation is that she’s biracial, then shame on everybody,” she added, noting that she personally believed the Duchess of Sussex’s race is “certainly part of it.”