The remains – it is unclear how long they have been there, whether they are a body, and if they have been identified either – were found not long after the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh returned from a church service they had been attending.

An unnamed local resident told The Daily Telegraph, ”There is a heavy police presence even 24 hours after the discovery.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “Detectives from Norfolk Constabulary have launched an investigation following the discovery of human remains in an area of woodland at Anmer, near King’s Lynn.

“The area has been sealed off and a detailed search is being carried out.”

The Queen, who was seen riding on the estate on Monday morning before she was informed of the discovery later that day, is based at Sandringham until February.

The Duke of Edinburgh was airlifted to hospital from the estate on Friday 23 December after suffering chest pains which forced him to miss the majority of the festive celebrations before he was released four days later.

Pictures: Getty