• Discovery close to Royal Stud where Queen oversees racehorse breeding
  • Norfolk police launches major investigation
Human remains have been discovered by a dog walker on the Queen's estate at Sandringham.

Police launched a major inquiry after the discovery near the village of Anmer on the Norfolk estate.

Officers cordoned off a large area of woodland less than a mile from where the Royal Family gathered for Christmas.
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© Getty Images
Grim discovery: Police guard the entrance to woods where a body was found on the Sandringham estate

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Macabre discovery: The human remains were found on the Queen's estate at Sandringham less than a mile from where the Royal family gathered for Christmas (bottom left)
Residents said forensic officers in white suits have spent more than 24 hours scouring a line of trees bordering farmland.

The scene is a stone's throw from the Royal Stud where the Queen oversees the breeding and training of race horses.

One estate worker, who declined to be named, said the police operation has been shrouded in secrecy. He said: 'There have been three police cars there all day and it is completely cordoned off. It looks like they have closed a big area.

'The Sandringham stud is less than quarter of a mile away and the Queen rides across this country. What is really strange is that no one knows anything about it. On the estate everyone knows everything about what is going on.'
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© Alamy
Family affair: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are currently in residence at the estate (pictured), accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two young children

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: 'The remains were found by a member of the public who reported the incident to police on January 1 shortly after 4pm. The area has been sealed off and a detailed search is currently being carried out.'

A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment, saying it was a police matter.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are in residence at the estate, accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two young children.
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© Albanpix.com
The Queen marked the start of her Diamond Jubilee year with a ride in the grounds of Sandringham House yesterday morning

Yesterday morning, the Queen was spotted at the estate on horseback wearing a navy blue riding coat, head scarf and red leather boots.

More than 200 people live at Sandringham, including farmers, foresters, gamekeepers and gardeners.

It is also a popular tourist attraction that includes huge swathes of farmland and woodland as well as orchards and soft fruits, sprinkled with idyllic rural properties.

Chairman of Norfolk Ramblers Mike Berman said: 'I believe Anmer did once have a burial site which is no longer used so perhaps that may shed some light on the discovery.'

Last March, the body of an American loner obsessed with the Queen was found 100 yards from Buckingham Palace.

Robert Moore, 69, had set up camp on a tiny island on the lake in St James's Park. He arrived in the UK in 2007 and appeared to have lived in the park until his death around a year later.