“Maddy is gorgeous. She has white blonde hair. She is active and chatty and intelligent, not shy. She is four next week and starts school this year.” – Jill Renwick, Evening Standard 4/5/07
Concerning Madeleine, she is Caucasian, white, aged four years (12/05/2003) about 90cm tall. Very slim, dark blond hair; shoulder-length. Left eye blue-green same as the right, which has a brown spot. She has a small brown spot on the skin of her left leg as well as sunburn on her right forearm. She has no scars. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing pyjamas with white bottoms with a floral pattern. The short-sleeved top, mainly pink with a blue-grey pattern bearing the inscription, “EEYORE,” an inscription which is also on one of the trouser legs. The pyjamas are “Marks and Spencer” brand.
Concerning the child’s personality, she is extrovert, very active, talkative, smart and relates to other children with great ease. But she would never go with a stranger. – Kate McCann in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
Concerning Madeleine, she is described as being Caucasian, white, aged 4 (12/05/07) and around 90cm tall. Slender, with shoulder length, straight, dark blond hair. Left eye and right greeny-blue and the right having a spot of brown. She also has a distinctive brown mark on her left leg. She has no scars. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing pyjamas with white floral-patterned trousers and a short-sleeved top, which was mainly pink in colour, with a blue and charcoal design with the inscription, “EEYORE.”
Concerning the child’s personality, she is extrovert, hyper-active, good talker, smart and relates to other children with great ease. She would never go with a stranger. – Gerry McCann in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
Knowing Madeleine well, the interviewee describes her as very intelligent, and totally incapable of going with a stranger without screaming or protesting strongly unless she was very tired or asleep. – Fiona Payne in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
He describes Madeleine as being a communicative girl, happy, obedient and very well behaved. – David Payne in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
That Madeleine is very lively, obedient, communicative and extrovert. – Matthew Oldfield in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
Concerning Madeleine, she is a happy child, good natured and full of energy. She considers it impossible that a stranger could take her without her shouting or crying. She is a smart child who knows right from wrong. – Rachael Mampilly in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
Madeleine Beth McCann was a sensible child, very loving, very active and fun. She liked to play. She was intelligent and the interviewee does not believe that if a stranger approached her that she would not shout. – Jane Tanner in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
The informant does not know Madeleine well, because she lives a long way from the McCanns, and she cannot say very much about Madeleine’s personality. Nevertheless, she reports that Madeleine was calm but active and energetic and well brought up. She is an attractive and a good child. – Dianne Webster in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 4/5/07
“She is an absolutely beautiful wee blonde girl with blue green eyes,” said Mrs Cameron. “Her one distinguishing features is that one of her pupils runs down into the iris of her eye, her right eye.” – Trish Cameron, the Guardian, 5/5/07
“Please continue to pray for Madeleine. She’s lovely.” – Kate McCann, Press statement 7/5/07
Witness states that as she was an intelligent child, timid at first contact, and who later felt more comfortable, was a child who conversed normally for her age, and was of a calm demeanour. She adds that it was usual for Madeleine to be called “Maddy”, as this is how she [Madeleine] presented herself to the witness. – OC nanny Charlotte Pennington in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 7/5/07
When questioned, she replies that the little girl was discreet and shy. She says that she was a very pretty girl, however she did not stand out because of this. – OC nanny Lynne Fretter in a statement to the Policia Judiciaria 7/5/07
“And I hope the wee devil is found safe and well. She should be celebrating her fourth birthday around now.” – Family friend Joe Peoples, Belfast Telegraph 8/5/07
“I love all my grandchildren, but Madeleine is extra special, bright, funny and has a personality all of her own – a great little girl.” – Sue Healy, Liverpool Daily Post 10/5/07
“Today we should be celebrating the fourth birthday of our daughter Madeleine. Instead we have had to remember what a normal, beautiful, vivacious, funny, courageous and loving little girl that we are missing today.” – Gerry McCann, Daily Express 12/5/07
Susan, 61, said: “Please God she will be back to blow her birthday candles out. She loved to blow out candles.” – Sue Healy, The People, 13/5/07
JH (Jane Hill): And what sort of activities does Madeleine like doing? Does she get in and muck around with all the other children, that sort of thing?
GM: She’s a complete, errm… she might look like Kate but in terms of personality she’s much more of a McCann. She’s very extroverted and lively, you know, vivacious, she’s…
KM: She likes running, she played tennis, as well, didn’t she?
GM: She’s very funny and, errr… she’s often a little, kind of, ringleader in nursery and with her other friends and cousins and things, as well, you know.
KM: She’s very sociable. – Kate and Gerry McCann, BBC interview, 25/5/07
Q: “Tell me about Madeleine. I know her picture, we all know her picture so well and she’s a gorgeous, little, smiling image but she is, to us, an image; to you she’s a real little girl. Tell us about Madeleine.”
KM: “Well, she’s got bags of character, that’s for sure. Errm… She’s very loving, caring, she’s very funny, very chatty, very engaging. Errm… She has her moments, like all children do, errm… but I do think she’s pretty special.”
GM: “What I’d like to say is that she looks like Kate but she’s got a McCann personality and if you’ve seen the rest of my family…”
KM: “She’s loud.”
GM: “Yeah, she’s loud and she’s a real extrovert and, errr… for one so young, errm… she can express herself so well and, you know, she tends to be the ringleader with the younger kids and, errm… and during the holidays she was the oldest of the eight children here and, errrr… and she just loved every minute of it; every waking minute she was having a ball and that is certainly the image that I keep in my head.” – Kate and Gerry McCann, ITV interview, 25 May 2007
Madeleine McCann was born 4 years ago. She has one brother Sean and a sister Amelie. She lives with her family in Rothley, Leicestershire. Her father comes from Glasgow and has 3 sisters, Patricia, Jacqueline and Phil, and a brother John. Madeleine’s Grandmother, Eileen lives in Glasgow. Her other grandparents, Sue and Brian live in Liverpool.Both sides of the family are very close and all are working in different ways to try and help in the search for Madeleine.
Phil, who resides in Ullapool and is a teacher, has asked that the heartfelt thanks of the whole family be passed to everyone who has helped in the search so far. She said “There have been so many messages of support and prayers from people all over the world. We (the family) are overwhelmed with your assistance. The media people have been wonderful and so helpful in making everyone aware of our plight. Madeleine’s family are so grateful to you all. Please keep Madeleine in your thoughts and prayers. We pray that she will be returned to us safe and well.” – www.findmadeleine.com, first version May 2007
Mr McCann smiled as he described Madeleine’s personality saying that she was a “ringleader” and had enjoyed her holiday tiring her parents out with a game in which she would shout “Be a monster, be a monster”.
Mrs McCann said, smiling: “She likes talking, she really likes role play.”
Mr McCann joined in saying: “She’s very good at that actually for someone so young, she really can talk…considering that she was not even four.
“She likes activity and sport, she’s very active, even at home when we are going for a jog she says ‘Can I come jogging with you mummy’?”
The couple looked relaxed as they spoke about Madeleine’s love of swimming, going swimming on Saturdays and of her favourite television programme – Dr Who as well as films such as Shrek and Finding Nemo. – Gerry and Kate McCann, Daily Express 26/5/07
Mr McCann said his daughter had been so excited about the holiday that she had barely complained when she tripped and grazed her shin.
“She was really brave. She started crying but stopped almost immediately,” he said. “When we got to the top of the steps I saw she had grazed her shin. It looked really sore – the step was just the right height for her leg.
“It was something that usually would have caused 10 minutes of crying rather than 10 seconds.” – Gerry McCann, The Herald 29/5/07
“They are quite similar in looks. Kate was a quiet child, never liked to be centre of attention, very very gentle. Madeleine is quite exuberant. She’s full of life and probably really relishes being the centre of attention. Lovely little girl, a funny character, too special to just disappear, far too special just not to be with us anymore. But as I say, almost a ‘mini Kate’ to look at. And Kate feels that way too. ‘Mini me’ she calls her. She’s so close to Madeleine, it’s hard to imagine how Kate must be feeling.” – Sue Healy, The Mayo News, 3/7/07
“Madeleine has the first three Harry Potter books and first three DVDs. Like most other children the world over, she loves the stories.” – Kate McCann, BBC News 16/7/07
She says: “As I put her to bed, she smiled at me and said, ‘Mummy I’ve had the best day ever. I’m having lots and lots of fun’.”
Kate reveals Madeleine had been practising a dance at the club which she was looking forward to showing her mum the following day – “but I never got to see it”.
(..) Kate now wears a silver locket round her neck with a picture of Madeleine inside and the words “Tower of Strength” engraved on it. She says a friend gave it to her because “that’s what Madeleine was to us, a tower of strength”.
(..) Conscious to speak of her in the present tense, she adds: “Despite her small size she just has this huge presence. She brings a lot of joy.” – Kate McCann, Sunday Mirror, 5/8/07
She revealed that as she tucked Madeleine into bed that night, the little girl said: “Mummy, I’ve had the best day ever. I’m having lots and lots of fun.” – Kate McCann, Daily Express 5/8/07
In her interview Mrs McCann paints a vivid picture of her daughter as a sociable and funny child.
She said: “She has a lot of personality and her name actually means ‘tower of strength’. But she hated it when we called her Maddie – she’d say, ‘My name is Madeleine’, with an indignant look on her face. I bet she’s giving whoever she’s with her tuppence worth.” – Kate McCann, Daily Express 13/8/07, quoting from the ‘Woman’s hour’ interview
KM – We had a great week. We came with a group of friends who also had children. Ours had more little friends . There was that childrens’ club with lots of activities. They had great fun.
GM – Madeleine, in particular, enjoyed herself a lot. One day, she even went sailing with the club.
KM – She played tennis.
GM – In the evening, the adults stayed together and the children played on their side. PM – How was Madeleine during the holidays?
KM – She is very intelligent, very sociable and engaging. She loves to chatter, she is funny, she has a lot of energy.
GM – She is always very active, she loves to organise everything, she is very good at role-playing games. In the hotel creche, she liked to organise things. For her age, her vocabulary is very good, better than mine! She understands lots of things, she picks things up quickly, she is very insightful.” – Kate and Gerry McCann, Paris Match, September 2007
She said the strongest medicine they would ever have used was Calpol, and the strongest rebuke ever meted out to Madeleine was to make her sit on the “naughty step”. – Philomena McCann, Daily Express 11/9/07
Kate McCann complains frequently that her children are “hysterical” and says that Madeleine is a hyperactive child who tires her out to the point of despair. – First Post, quoting Correio de Manha 14/9/07
Missing Madeleine would run around ‘screaming…shouting for my attention’, the mother-of-three said.
In an interview given to a Portuguese magazine before she was named as a suspect in the case of the four-year-old’s disappearance, Kate also said the first six months of Madeleine’s life were “very difficult” and that the girl had suffered from colic.
Speaking about Madeleine’s upbringing, Kate, a 39-year-old GP, told Portugal’s Flash! magazine: “She cried practically for 18 hours a day. I had to permanently carry her around.”
This period explained “the strong bond between mother and daughter”, she said.
Although the arrival of the twins Sean and Amelie shook up Madeleine’s life, she accepted them very well, said Kate.
“She managed to deal perfectly with this new reality, although she herself at the time was still a baby.
“The worst thing is that she started to demand lots of attention, especially when I was breast-feeding them.
“She would run up and down screaming in the background, shouting for my attention.” – Kate McCann, Daily Mail 17/9/07, quoting Portugese magazine Flash
“As Madeleine’s mummy I feel in my heart that she is there. I don’t know how anyone could harm anyone as beautiful as Madeleine. I don’t mean her appearance. I mean as a beautiful person.”
The mother of three, who has spoken of her desire to be involved in childcare, became emotional towards the end of the questioning, recorded yesterday, as she talked personally about her eldest child.
“I feel sad and I feel lonely and our life is not as happy without Madeleine,” she said, adding: “I feel anxious she is not with us.”
Asked about the last time she saw Madeleine, she said: “She was very happy and very loving and I know Madeleine was very happy with her life. She is special.” – Kate McCann, Daily Express 24/10/07, quoting from the Antena 3 interview
Mr McCann described the last time he saw her – at 9.05pm as he checked on his daughter as she lay sleeping – before returning to the tapas bar to carry on with his evening meal.
“I was the last to see her. I saw her and thought how beautiful she was and thought how lucky I was to be a father of three children,” he said. – Gerry McCann, Daily Express 24/10/07, quoting from the Antena 3 interview
These days it was rare for Madeleine to wake up at all once she was in bed. If she did, she’d normally wander into her parents’ bed, whether they were there or not. At home in Rothley, sometime earlier, they had begun a star chart for Madeleine staying in her own bed. The chart, still on display in the kitchen, was full of stars. – David James Smith, Timesonline 16 December 2007
“Gerry paused over Madeleine, who – a typical doctor’s observation, this – was lying almost in “the recovery position” with Cuddle Cat, the toy her godfather, John Corner, had bought her, and her comfort blanket up near her head, and Gerry thought how gorgeous, how lovely-looking she was and how lucky he was.” – David James Smith, Timesonline 16 December 2007
“So beautiful, astonishingly bright, and I’d have to say very charismatic. She would shine out of a crowd,” family friend Jon Corner says of the child. “So—God forgive me—maybe that’s part of the problem. That special quality. – Jon Corner, Vanity Fair, 10/1/08
“Wee Madeleine knows better than to wander away” – Philomena McCann quoting Gerry McCann in Vanity Fair, 10/1/08
Madeleine was born in May 2003 – a long-awaited and very much longed for little girl. She lives in the village of Rothley in Leicester, with her mummy and daddy and little brother and sister, Sean and Amelie.
Madeleine is a very happy little girl with an outgoing personality. She has always been a very popular little person, appealing to both children and adults alike with her funny and engaging chatter. She has many friends who obviously miss her dearly. Despite her young age, it often felt like Madeleine had been on this earth before!
Like most girls her age, she likes dolls and dresses (and anything pink and sparkly) but with a definite taste for action-adventure too! She has an incredible amount of energy and even as a little baby, didn’t seem to need much rest. She enjoys running and swimming and is an Everton fan like her mum and granddad.
Madeleine has always been a wonderfully loving and caring big sister to Sean and Amelie. It was certainly not the quietest house on the planet with lots of giggling, singing and the inevitable odd bit of mischief! For Sean and Amelie, there is without doubt, a very important person missing in their life.
Madeleine is a warm, life-enriching little person and will never fail we’re sure, to bring joy into the life of anyone she may encounter. – www.findmadeleine.com, update 1/2/08
“… she was happy, bubbly, errr… relatively headstrong on previous meetings. Actually she seemed to have mellowed a little bit when we went on holiday, you know a girl, you know a little girl full of, full of life, full of beans, and, errr… you know E**a and her, we hadn’t seen much of each other, they were just having a wonderful time together you know they’re so similar in age, errr… I think that’s all I can say. She just appeared to be a… you know, that time of life is gorgeous isn’t it? You know, they’re, they’re in, they’re, you know they’re, they’ve not been sullied by school and lots of other external influences you know they’re still you know just in… they’re speaking, they’re developing personality and nothing about Madeleine would suggest, which I presume the implication here is, that she was having an unhappy life, that she was being neglected or that she was being you know brought up in a, in a, in a threatening or a dangerous environment, you know she was you know just a you know normal, happy four year, you know three year old girl.” – Russell O’Brien in a statement to the Leicestershire Police, 10/4/08
“… she was, you know, a very bubbly little girl, errm… very cheery, errm… very sort of caring, she was very good with, errr… smaller children, errm… you know, I just remember Grace falling over and sort of Madeleine going to pick her up and help her, errm… you know, sort of full of fun, lots of energy, running around, sporty, errm… one game that sort of we used to play in the evenings, by the recreation area, was, you know, somebody would pretend to be a monster and they’d all sort of say, ‘chase me, chase me’ and Madeleine was always kind of the one who started that off, errm… sort of say, ‘oh let’s play monsters’ and so you know it would be Matt or Dave or Russell sort of running around chasing all the kids, errm…”
(..) “Errm… a bright little girl, I think, errm… I mean, oh, her, I suppose I don’t know her well enough to, to really comment on that but I mean, she was, you know she was sort of very together and certainly acted her age or sort of you know older than her age, she was very sort of self aware, errm…” – Rachael Mampilly in a statement to the Leicestershire Police, 10/4/08
“Mmm…, errr… Madeleine’s, errr… a very striking, errr… beautiful child, I’d almost – if I want a better phrase – call her doll-like, you know. She was very, you know, I think, you know, very unique looking child, errr… she’d got very pretty, you know blonde hair, errr… in a bob, she was quite a petite, errr… child and you know she was very bubbly, very, errr… you know, she was a very good child to, to interact with. She was very bright, you could have a lot of fun with Madeleine, errr… and you know she, she was, you know, Kate and Gerry’s, you know, pride and joy. They’d had a lot of trouble conceiving, you know, with IVF and everything and, you know, Madeleine was their miracle. She was obviously very unique with the fact that she’d got the, you know, the iris defect, errr… but, you know, she was certainly a happy go lucky child, you know, she was, she would interact with the other children very well, as I said on the other, earlier recording, you know, she played very happily with L*** and you know indeed the other children. She was, you know, very… she is a very beautiful child and good fun.”
(..)”You know, I, you know, a fact I’ve come across already you know she was a… she’s a very bright child. you know, she wouldn’t be the kind of mischievous child who, you know, and just try and get out of the flat and you know get up to mischief and that, you know, there’s fun in all children but she certainly wasn’t that kind of child. She was very bright.” – David Payne a statement to the Leicestershire Police, 10/4/08
“There was one occasion, on Thursday, 3rd of May 2007, around 10H30 in the morning, where she cried at the launch of the yellow safety boat in the ocean where all the children were sailing. She was scared and fearful and cried on my lap “I am scared, I am scared.” We only used the launches to transport the children to the small yellow boats. When we returned to the other boat she was happy again. She sailed in the small boat and even though some children had the opportunity to return to the port, she stayed for a second time as she appeared to be having a good time. Jane Tanner’s daughter also took part in my group and together they would play. Apart from being a happy child in the club, she always seemed very content when she saw her parents. Madeleine did not demonstrate any fear with the return launch to land.” – OC nanny Catriona Baker in a statement to the Leicestershire Police, 14/4/2008
“She would never have got up and gone off on her own, it just wasn’t in her nature.
“She wouldn’t have left the twins, she was like a wee mother figure to them.
“If someone lifted her out of bed Madeleine would have screamed the place down. That girl could throw a tantrum if she wanted to and she and the twins were quite shy about meeting new people.” – Eileen McCann (Gerry McCann’s mother, Sunday Mail, 27/4/08
She recalls: “She just very casually really said ‘Where were you last night when me and Sean cried?’ And we immediately looked and said, you know ‘When was this Madeleine, was this when you were going to sleep?’ and she didn’t answer. “And then she just carried on playing, totally undistressed.” – Kate McCann quoting Madeleine in the Liverpool Echo, 30/4/08
“I know how much I love Madeleine and I have no doubt that Madeleine knows how much I love her.”
Kate also speaks about the close bond she and Madeleine shared – more like best friends than mother and daughter.
She says: “I had days when I’d go to a cafe with Madeleine and we’d go shopping together and she’d just say ‘Oh mummy I like that top’ or ‘Oh I love your earrings, mummy’.”
Then, poignantly slipping into the present tense, Kate adds: “She’s good company. She’s like a little buddy to me. She’s very loving…a very bright little girl.”
Kate fights to maintain her composure as she describes how Madeleine stepped into the role of big sister when the twins were born. She says: “It was lovely seeing them together and that’s one thing I struggle with, imagining how they’d be now.” – Kate McCann, One Year On documentary in Daily Mirror, 30/4/08
In Posters (click to enlarge)
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First poster 04 May 2007 – Click to enlarge
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The 2008 poster
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Text on reverse of appeal poster
The Maddie prayer card
The McCanns’ ‘shrines’ to Madeleine
Shrine: The mantelpiece at the family home in Leicestershire
Terramundi money pot
Shrine to Madeleine (1)
This shrine (above), which appears on the mantelpiece of the McCanns’ family home in Rothley, curiously places a Terramundi money pot at its centrepiece. Madeleine’s name is spelt out by what looks like a wooden train.
One would have expected something rather more sympathetic and sensitive from the McCanns in memory of Madeleine, who Kate described, in a letter to Paulo Rebelo, as ‘the most precious thing in our life.’
Of course, these items may have some sentimental significance to Madeleine, of which we are unaware. But, even if that were the case, to place what, on first sight, appears to be an urn beside the precious ‘last photograph’ of Madeleine still seems ill judged and insensitive.
Tradition – Once the first coin is dropped the money pot must be fed until full upon which time it must be smashed whilst making a wish. It is customary to replace the pot and spend the money on ‘good things’, they bring good fortune.
(…) Each money pot contains a separate fortune card. Money pots hold approximately £200 in mixed silver.
The shrine at Kate’s bedside in PDL
Shrine to Madeleine (2)
This rather more traditional-looking shrine was set up at Kate’s bedside in the Vista Mar Villa, where the McCanns lived until they left Praia da Luz.