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Sandringham Estate, Queen Elizabeth II Retreat, Home To Human Remains, UK Police Say

01/ 2/12 06:28 PM ET   AP

LONDON — Human remains have been discovered on Sandringham estate, a vast area in rural Norfolk where the royal family retreats for the holiday season, local police announced Monday.

A terse statement posted to the website of the Norfolk Constabulary said that a member of the public found the remains on New Year's Day in an area of woodland at Anmer, a tiny village about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of London. The hamlet is home to several dozen people and sits around three miles (4.8 kilometers) from Sandringham House, the 19th property at center of several thousand acres of gardens, mudflats, woods, and farmland.

Police Sgt. Andrew Terry said he didn't know whether the remains were found on the site of Sandringham, but Britain's Press Association news agency identified Anmer as being part of the royal estate. No indication of the age or nature of the remains was given, and Terry said no further information would be released until Tuesday.

Sandringham has served as a private residence for British monarchs since 1862, and queen Elizabeth II traditionally retreats there with her family during the holiday season.

The estate's website says that half of the royal residence is rented out to agricultural tenants. There are also two stud farms, a fruit farm and a country park which, together with the estate's gardens, employ over 100 full-time staff.

Buckingham Palace referred questions about the find back to police.

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Online:

Sandringham House: http://ow.ly/8g2IC

Norfolk Constabulary: http://www.norfolk.police.uk/

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Filed by Benjamin Hart  |