Police launched an investigation on Monday (2nd January) after human remains were found at the Queen’s holiday retreat, Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, East England.
The remains were found by a member of the public who stumbled upon them while walking in Anmer, which is part of the estate, on Sunday.
Police have so far confirmed that the body is that of a woman, but have not said whether or not she was clothed, or when she is thought to have died, although the body is thought to have been there for a while:
“The body has been in situ for some time but I can’t comment on whether that is weeks, months or years,” Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry stated.
“The circumstances suggest this is a murder case and we are looking at missing persons reports and cold cases, both locally and nationwide.”
Forensic experts are carrying out a detailed search of the area – about a mile from the main gate to Sandringham House.
Mr Fry said it was not yet clear if the woman was killed at the scene or taken there after her death.
The Royal family spent Christmas and New Year at the estate, although celebrations were interrupted by Prince Philip’s well-publicised heart attack. However, the Prince seemed fit and healthy as he attended a church ceremony with the rest of the family on New Years Day.
Sandringham is ordinarily the Queen’s formal base until February of each year and it is unknown whether the gruesome discovery will affect her plans.
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By Rebecca Jones