McCanns celebrate twins' birthday but Madeleine is 'never far from their minds'

GERRY and Kate McCann will celebrate a family milestone today without their missing daughter Madeleine.

The couple are hosting a party to mark the fourth birthday of their twins Sean and Amelie.

The McCanns have invited a number of close friends and relatives to their Leicestershire home for a low-key celebration.

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The family are determined to make the day special for the siblings and among their pile of presents is a gift from Madeleine, who they have not seen since she went missing on May 3, 2007.

A family friend said: "Kate and Gerry have always tried to keep things as normal as possible for the twins.

"Last year they threw a big party for them and they will make the day all about the twins, but Madeleine will never be far from their minds."

The twins were just two years old when their sister, who was about to turn four, vanished from their holiday home in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Despite the huge impact Madeleine's disappearance has had on the family, the McCanns have vowed to give Sean and Amelie a "normal childhood".

Next year the pair will start school at the local Catholic primary, where their sister had been due to enrol.

The official fund set up to help find Madeleine now stands at 600,000 after an initial surge of donations dried up.

Nearly 2m was raised in the first 10 months after she went missing, accounts filed at Companies House show.

Over this period more than 815,000 from the fund was spent on efforts to trace the missing girl.

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