Madeleine McCann parents Gerry and Kate McCann

Madeleine McCann’s parents on the ‘regret’ they’ll have ‘until the end of our days’ over daughter’s disappearance

It's something they'll regret until the end of time, Kate has said

The parents of Madeleine McCann have previously revealed that they know what may have led to their daughter’s disappearance on that fateful day back in May 2007.

Madeleine was sleeping in her hotel apartment alongside her younger twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, on the night she was snatched. Her parents had been enjoying dinner at the Ocean Club restaurant in the hotel’s complex as the tragedy unfolded.

Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up looking for their daughter, who was three years old at the time of her disappearance. However, in her 2011 book, Kate did admit that she and Gerry felt “bitter regret” after discovering a small but explosive detail in her disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann holding a copy of their book
The parents of Madeleine McCann ‘bitterly regret’ an event that may have led to their daughter’s disappearance (Credit: Splash News)

Parents of Madeleine McCann know what contributed to her disappearance

Writing in Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search For Her, Kate shared that they requested the same table in the Ocean Club restaurant every night of their holiday. This is because it afforded Kate and Gerry – and their holidaying friends – the best view of the apartments where they left their sleeping children.

But it was only after Madeleine vanished that Kate discovered what the person who took the booking wrote in the open reservation book at the restaurant’s entrance. And it was then that she realised it would have been clear to anyone working at the restaurant, or any curious member of the public, that the children would be unsupervised in their rooms.

‘We now bitterly regret it’

Kate wrote: “To my horror, I saw that, no doubt in all innocence and simply to explain why she was bending the rules a bit, the receptionist had added the reason for our request: we wanted to eat close to our apartments as we were leaving our young children alone there and checking on them intermittently.”

We wanted to eat close to our apartments as we were leaving our young children alone there and checking on them intermittently.

She then added that she will “regret” the move until her dying day. Speaking about herself and Gerry, Kate added: “We now bitterly regret it and will do so until the end of our days.”

Kate McCann looking pained during an interview
Kate McCann wrote about the reservation book entry in her 2011 book (Credit: YouTube)

‘Stuff for nightmares’ for parents of Madeleine McCann

In 2019’s Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the dinner reservation book was also discussed. And, according to author Robbyn Swan, who co-wrote the Looking for Madeleine book in 2014, it was the “stuff of nightmares” for the McCanns. In fact, Swan claimed it was something Kate would never recover from.

Madeleine’s disappearance will be the focus on a Panorama programme tonight (October 30) – Prime Suspect: Who Took Madeleine McCann. In the BBC One documentary, journalist Richard Bilton reports on the discovery of prime suspect Christian Brueckner. He’s currently serving time in a German prison for another crime.

Read more: Who Took Madeleine McCann? All the crucial evidence against Christian Brueckner here

Prime Suspect: Who Took Madeleine McCann? airs tonight (October 3) from 8pm on BBC One. 

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor