Scene of the crime
By Andrew Hough, and Gordon Rayner
12:06PM GMT 03 Jan 2012
Police have launched a murder inquiry following the discovery of a woman's body on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry said they were examining cold case files nationally to try and identify her.
Detective Inspector Jes Fry
Mr Fry said: "We are at the very early stages of the investigation and it could be a complex inquiry.
"The body had been there for some time. The circumstances suggest this is a murder case and we are looking at missing persons reports and cold cases both locally and nationwide."
Sad and atmospheric Norfolk scene
A major police inquiry was launched after a dog walker discovered the woman's remains on New Year’s Day just a mile from the Royal Stud and less than two miles from the estate’s main residence.
Officers are carrying out a “detailed search” throughout the area of woodland in Anger, near King’s Lynn, which is east of Sandringham House, where members of the Royal Family had gathered.
The operation was kept secret for more than 24 hours as detectives worked to establish how the body was so close to the Royal residence. A large area of the woodland had been cordoned off.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who are currently staying on the 20,000-acre (8,000-hectare) estate for their Christmas break, were informed of the discovery on Monday night.
The body was discovered shortly after the Royals attended a church service on Sunday.
A post mortem is due to take place later.
It remains unclear how long the woman's body has been there. The dog walker has also not been named.
Residents told The Daily Telegraph that the large police operation had been shrouded in secrecy.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “There is a heavy police presence even 24 hours after the discovery.
"You couldn't get very close to the site. Police said they expected to be there on tomorrow (Tuesday).
"It is just a stone's throw from the Stud and the Royals' house. It is very close."
Another resident, who also did not want to be named, said locals were shocked at the discovery.
Inevitable Colonel Mustard illustration.
"I spoke to several of my friends who work on the estate and they were at work on Monday and didn't hear anything about it," he said.
"No one knows anything about it. It has been quite a secret operation.
"The area is only used by people who work nearby, dog walkers and local residents."
He added: "It is quite a bit of a shock, given the proximity to the grounds itself. The area is really not that far from Sandringham House.
"We are all a bit stunned to be honest. It is just a really quiet area."
Mike Berman, the Chairman of Norfolk Ramblers, added: "I believe Anmer did once have a burial site which is no longer used so perhaps that may shed some light on the discovery."
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman declined to comment, referring inquiries to police.
The details emerged just days after the Duke, 90, left Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, where he was treated for a blocked artery after suffering chest pains.
Prince Philip looks good for a man who's had the kind of week he has.
The Duke’s heart scare forced him to miss the annual celebrations, including the annual Boxing Day shoot.
He was airlifted to hospital from Sandringham on December 23 and kept under observation for four nights after undergoing the “minimally invasive procedure” of coronary stenting, which was declared a success.
The Queen, who makes it her official base until February, was seen riding on the estate on Monday morning.
H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II and gorgeous friend
The 85-year-old year-old wore only a headscarf and the hood of her long blue waxed jacket for protection as she rode a chestnut coloured horse.
She emerged in the winter sunshine a few minutes later on horseback, accompanied by a smartly-dressed male groom on a white horse who was wearing a proper black riding hat in case he fell off.
Sandringham has served as a private residence for Royal Family since 1862. King George V, the queen's grandfather, once called "dear old Sandringham ... (the) place I love better than anywhere in the world".
Around half of the estate is let to farm tenants, with much of the remainder used for forestry.
In October The Daily Telegraph disclosed that the remains of an American man had been lying near Buckingham Palace for years.
Robert James Moore sent hundreds of letters to the Queen and was driven by his obsession to set up home within sight of Buckingham Palace, on an island in St James’s Park.
But somehow his camp that he set up by went unnoticed until a tree surgeon uncovered the remains of his body in October, as many as three years after his death.
Laird Cregar as The Lodger
Obviously, this Telegraph story relates a tragic event. There is still something that seems historically "right" or "synched" here, but it's probably just a trick of memory or the season.
Reading the story of the Queen's holiday horseback excursions was uplifting and reassuring. Although I am not in any way a monarchist in any way, for reasons too many and various to list, this particular monarch (the only English royal ruler in my lifetime) inspires a certain amount of respect and admiration. If any living person knows the truth about the Kennedy assassination and the activities at Area 51, it is certainly she.
I thought I had read that the Queen could no longer go riding and I'm glad to find that isn't true. I also liked the details about the blue waxed jacket. I also own one, although I don't ride and mine is much shorter. Someone once scolded me for buying a blue jacket, rather than the more traditional green-drab garment. The fact that Her Majesty shares my taste in this area is pleasing. I need to replace my wax jacket (and can of wax) and also my Loden coat, which looks (I should say once looked) like the beautiful one Prince Philip is wearing in the photo above, also taken two days ago. I am a warm person (sometimes) living in a cold climate.
I hope they catch the killer soon. Creepy.