Kate the brave

SO poised, so calm, so dignified…Kate McCann's face is now known - and judged - the world over. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports on the woman who must be Britain's most photographed mother of the moment.

SO poised, so calm, so dignified…Kate McCann's face is now known - and judged - the world over. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports on the woman who must be Britain's most photographed mother of the moment.

THE world doesn't yet know what has happened to Kate McCann's little daughter Madeleine .

But one thing is for certain, nobody can deny that this British mother remains poised and dignified in her grief.

Throughout the dark months agony -facing the media cameras on a daily basis, being interrogated for hours by Portuguese police, and heckled by crowds outside the police station - she has upheld a dignified image to the outside world.

The pictures of the McCanns walking on the beach back in May show Kate's carefully put together but casual look, looking as slim and pretty as many women aspire to be. People have been left wondering how can she always look perfect, her clothes freshly ironed, her make-up intact?

Ever since her daughter's disappearance, Kate has resolutely refused to break down in public, maintaining her steely composure under circumstances which would reduce most mothers to wailing incoherence. Through a self-preserving detachment which she might also have learned as a GP, she has denied the media mob any pictures of floods of tears - which would surely sell a few more copies.

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Commentators have seized on the lack of emotion shown by both Kate and Gerry McCann - claiming that this is an unnatural response, indicating that the couple are hiding something. In fact, criminal profilers have advised them to display no overt emotion in case Madeleine's abductor “gets off" on the sight of her parents in obvious distress. Off camera, they were said to be deeply distressed and receiving help from counsellors.

Madeleine McCann has become an obsession for a nation hooked on a diet of crime dramas. Everyone wants to solve the mystery of the cute little girl's disappearance.

So today as the gaze of the globe continues to scrutinise, we form our own judgements on this woman, whose face is fast becoming a symbol of fading hope.

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What do you think of Kate McCann's image? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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