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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
New video of Madeleine released
Madeleine McCann (in pink) seen in mobile phone footage
Madeleine was said to be looking forward to the holiday

The parents of Madeleine McCann have released the last video clips taken of their daughter before her disappearance in Portugal nearly four weeks ago.

Dressed in pink and holding a rucksack, the four-year-old can be seen walking onto a flight at East Midlands Airport.

The mobile phone footage also shows her on an airport bus in the Algarve.

Gerry and Kate McCann are likely to begin a series of appeals across Europe after attending a general audience with the Pope on Wednesday.

The couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, will head for Italy on Tuesday on a private plane provided by retail tycoon Sir Philip Green for a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI the following day.

The Pope will then have a private conversation with the McCanns on the steps of St Peter's.

Monsignor Andrew Faley, of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said: "This will give a huge boost to the worldwide campaign for the safe finding of Madeleine."

The McCanns will stay at the residency of the British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell.

'So excited'

The couple travelled to the resort on 28 April with Madeleine, her brother Sean and sister Amelie, and a group of friends.

Five days later Madeleine disappeared.

Mrs McCann is said to have watched the two clips of her daughter regularly since Madeleine was abducted from their holiday apartment on 3 May.

"She was dead excited about going away with the rest of the kids, it was her first time to Portugal," Mrs McCann said.

"We all had to have our own rucksacks - even Sean and Amelie - it was quite funny. And Madeleine was acting like a big girl, she was so excited."

Madeleine McCann appeal poster
The McCanns thanked the public after viewing the poster

The short clips were taken by one of the family's friends and show Madeleine boarding the flight to Faro airport and sitting on an airport bus with her brother and sister.

Madeleine can be seen clutching her Barbie rucksack and holding hands with another girl as she boards the aircraft.

At one point, she loses her footing and slips, grazing her shin.

Mr McCann, whose family are from Glasgow, said his daughter was so looking forward to her holiday to stay upset for long.

"She was really brave. She started crying but stopped almost immediately," he said.

"It was something that usually would have caused 10 minutes of crying rather than 10 seconds."

The release of the footage comes a day after a giant poster designed to publicise the appeal for Madeleine was unveiled on a beach at Praia da Luz.

The inflatable billboard will be set up around the Algarve, Spain and other places in Europe.


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