You will be aware, because of the huge amount of press coverage, that this month marks 10 years since the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Ten to 20 news articles a day have been written about Madeleine in recent weeks, and the case is rarely out of the news – making Madeleine undoubtedly one of the most famous missing people of all time.
There has been ample public opinion directed towards Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry – and not much of it is good, perhaps due to the fact they left their daughter, and her two-year-old twin siblings, alone in the apartment on the night of the disappearance, while they dined at a tapas bar nearby.
What seemed a relatively innocuous decision to the McCanns at the time has come back to haunt them every minute of every day for the past decade. Who could imagine the horror of discovering your child has gone missing? And subsequently living with the torment day after day of not knowing what has happened to them.
How do you ever go on from that and carve some semblance of a normal life, not just for yourself but for your remaining children?
But the horrifying position Kate and Gerry, both doctors, find themselves in is not met with sympathy from many people, who have directed much abuse at the McCanns, with some going as far as accusing them of being responsible for Madeleine's death and covering it up.
And while Gerry certainly doesn’t get off lightly, it seems to be Kate who has received the lion’s share of public vitriol and I found that interesting, even though deciding to leave Madeleine and her siblings alone that fateful night was a joint decision by both Kate and Gerry.
But what is it about Kate in particular that has made her so unpopular with the public?
Much has been made of her appearance – she is slim, educated, attractive, dresses well and enjoys frequent jogging as a way to let off steam. Her hairstyle and even her choice of accessories was heavily criticised in the early days of Madeleine’s disappearance.
How did she have the time or inclination to change her earrings each day when her daughter was missing? People wanted to know. Why did she remain so calm and not have a public breakdown in the immediate aftermath?
Both men and women have labelled Kate a ‘dreadful mother’, including Karen Matthews, who served a jail sentence for orchestrating the ‘kidnap’ of her own daughter Shannon. Is she really worthy of more criticism than her husband even though as the one who gave birth to Madeleine following a long IVF process, she must be battling the cruel yearning and longing that comes from losing a child in an even stronger way than her husband?
Many people have remarked that if Kate had been unattractive, working class and lived on a council estate, she may have got more sympathy. But that is hardly her fault surely?
Nevertheless, there is definitely something about Kate McCann that people seem to have taken a dislike to.
It is just sad that amidst all the anger and hatred directed towards her parents – all the forums, websites and sackloads of hate mail - the fact still remains that Madeleine, the most important person in all this, is still missing and whatever has happened to her, she did not deserve it.