MADELEINE McCann would turn 16 on Sunday — and it will be marked with a party at home.

Mum Kate, 51, has bought gifts for her bedroom, unchanged since she vanished in Portugal in 2007, aged three.

A family pal said: “There will be prayers and quiet reflection but also a cake and presents to mark her turning 16, a significant age.”

Earlier this month Kate and husband Gerry, 50, shared their heartache at her imminent birthday.

The couple, from Rothley, Leics, posted online: “The months and years roll by too quickly.

"It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel. There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues and many people around the world remain vigilant."

Great uncle Brian Kennedy said: “It would be lovely to have a real celebration one day. We never lose hope.”

Kate has previously spoken about Maddie’s birthday – a day that is particularly difficult "because that’s when you really feel her absence".

She revealed: “I do all the present buying. I think about what age she is and buy something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate so there’s a lot of thought goes into it.”

  • German child killer Martin Rey, suspected of taking Madeleine, has been challenged to take a lie detector test by a London-based expert.

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