The parents of Madeleine McCann have pledged ‘never to give up’ on their missing daughter as they bravely spend their 11th Christmas without her.
In a Christmas Day posting, Kate and Gerry admitted the festive season is ‘a tricky time’ and they only battle through with the ‘friendship and solidarity’ of all their supporters.
The couple took time to write a message to thank well-wishers for their continued help after poignantly laying presents in Maddie’s bedroom – hoping one day she’ll be back home to open them.
The parents of Madeleine McCann have pledged ‘never to give up’ on their missing daughter as they bravely spend their 11th Christmas without her
Kate and Gerry McCann posted a heartbreaking message on Christmas day, admitting the festive season is ‘a tricky time’
Maddie last opened a Christmas present at home with her mother and father in 2006. Her parents took this home video
In a posting on the Madeleine Facebook page they wrote: ‘To all our supporters. We just wanted to pass on our love and thanks to everyone who has continued to support us throughout another year.
‘Christmas is a tricky time – as it is for many people.
‘Friendship, solidarity and warm wishes go a long way in giving us the strength to get through and make the very best of it.
‘So from all our family a very big thank you. We will never give up on Madeleine.
‘With very good wishes for a happy and peaceful 2018. Kate and Gerry.’
Former GP Kate, now a medical worker, and heart doctor Gerry, both 49, posted their message of gratitude on a webpage which promotes the search for their daughter and which they endorse.
Among supporters responding to the early morning Xmas post is Margaret Ryan who said: ‘Please God she will be found and give her family some peace.’
Karen Homewood added: ‘Christmas is just another time of the year when this family are without a loved and cherished one. I can’t begin to imagine the heartbreak they must go through every day. Never give up – she is still with us somewhere.’
Kate told last week how she still buys Christmas gifts for Maddie and places then in her pretty pink room which has remained untouched since she vanished more than ten and a half years ago.
This is an artist’s impression of how Maddie would look at age nine. Today, she would be a teenager of 14
Kate and Gerry cling to the hope that one day they will be reunited with their eldest daughter. They are also parents to 12-year-old twins Sean and Amelie
Maddie disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal (pictured). Scotland Yard detectives are hunting the mysterious ‘woman in purple’, who they believe may hold the key to Maddie’s fate
It has become a shrine to the little girl, with photos and drawings as well as festive offerings and birthday parcels.
The couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, cling onto a glimmer of hope that their eldest child – who would now be aged 14 – could one day return home.
Three-year-old Maddie vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007, while her parents were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant with pals.
Kate and Gerry try to keep the festive season as fun and normal as possible for the sake of their 12-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
But Kate said the occasion is always ‘tinged with pain and longing’ insisting: ‘Madeleine should be here and we should be celebrating with her.
‘We have not lost hope that we may get to celebrate another Christmas with her. ‘
The family will have a quiet low key Xmas at home.
Prayers will be said for Maddie during the village church’s Christmas Day service whilst a candle in memory of the youngster burns around the clock in the square beside the war memorial.
Scotland Yard detectives hunting for Maddie have been granted funding until the end of March next year to continue their search.
Officers have been scouring Europe for an elusive ‘woman in purple’ they believe may hold the key to the kidnapped girl’s fate.