Over £1 million worth of irreplaceable treasure has been stolen from Arundel Castle, according to reports.
Thieves ransacked display cabinets of priceless items such as the gold rosary beads Mary Queen of Scots gripped tightly at her execution in 1587.
Police believe a blazing 4×4 saloon dumped nearby could be linked to the royal raid in West Sussex at 10:30pm on Friday.
An alarm at the castle alerted staff to the burglary and police responded to scene within minutes, after gold and silver artefacts worth more than £1 million had been spotted missing.
Coronation cups given by the Sovereign to the Earl Marshal of the day were taken as well as Mary Queen of Scots' rosary beads which experts say are irreplaceable, The Sun reports.
A spokesman for Arundel Castle Trustees said: “The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance.
"We therefore urge anyone with information to come forward to the police to assist them in returning these treasures back where they belong.”
Police are looking into whether an abandoned 4×4 saloon which had been set on fire in nearby Barlavington, is connected to the burglary.
Detective Constable Molly O'Malley of Chichester CID said: “If you were in Arundel on Friday evening and saw any suspicious activity around the area of the Castle, please contact us.
"In addition, the castle only re-opened to visitors on May 18 so if you were visiting during the past few days do you on reflection recall anyone behaving at all suspiciously?
"If you are offered or hear of anyone offering for sale any of the items stolen, we would also like to hear from you.”
Arundel Castle has origins dating as far back as 1067 but the house was almost completely rebuilt between the 1870s and 1890s.
According to the historical site's website, its Gothic style is considered to be one of the great works of Victorian England.
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