William and Kate rumoured to be moving to Anmer Hall

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Media captionAnmer Hall is two miles from Sandringham House, where the Queen traditionally spends Christmas

A tiny Norfolk village with no pub, no shop and a population of just 63 has found itself in the media spotlight after reports that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could be moving there.

The Queen is said to have earmarked Anmer Hall on her Sandringham Estate as a family home for Prince William and Catherine.

Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the claims but former BBC royal correspondent Michael Cole said the Georgian house in Anmer would be an ideal home for the couple.

"It certainly makes sense," he said.

Image caption Michael Cole thinks Anmer Hall would be an ideal home for the Duke and Duchess and their family

"Anmer Hall was a very happy home for many years for the Duke and Duchess of Kent. They brought up their children there," he said.

Anmer Hall is about two miles (3km) east of the Queen's residence at Sandringham House.

Prince William and Catherine currently live in a rented farmhouse on Anglesey, where the prince is an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter pilot.

They also have accommodation at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

But with the Duchess pregnant with the couple's first child, longer-term family accommodation could be needed.

"It would seem to be an ideal choice in that it's close to Grandma - but not too close," said Mr Cole.

"It seems to me to be a good idea and I'm sure that they will be extraordinarily happy there."

'Fast-growing trees'

The Grade II*-listed house has 10 bedrooms and dates back to about 1802, but some parts are much older.

"One of the problems might be that it's visible from the road, but, perhaps before they move in, the Royal estate can find some fast-growing trees that might plug a few holes that might give the paparazzi views of the house," said Mr Cole.

Anmer Hall has formed part of the Sandringham Estate since 1898 and was leased by the Duke and Duchess of Kent as their country house from 1972 until 1990.

Image caption The Queen is said to have earmarked Anmer Hall as a home for the Duke and Duchess

It is currently the home of the Everett family, who run their timber business Norfolk Oak from The Old Stables.

James Everett declined to comment.

"There is already someone there who has a lease on it," said Mr Cole.

"Unless they can be persuaded to surrender the lease a little bit early, it might be as late as 2017 before they [William and Kate] move in.

"When they do, I'm sure East Anglia will be very pleased and the local people will be glad to see them."

Karen Melhado, who moved to the village from York in 2007, said: "I would not move back to a town now I live here in Anmer. It's beautiful here all year round."

On the prospect of gaining some new Royal neighbours, she said: "It would be wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

"Everybody gets on with everybody and it would be nice if they would participate in some of the things that go on in the village.

"I would make them very welcome and I'm sure other people in the village would as well."

At the 2001 Census, Anmer had a population of 63.

The village has a church, St Mary the Virgin, which is very close to the hall and has services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

Although there are no shops or pubs, the village is home to Anmer Social Club, which is open on Friday evenings and Saturday lunchtimes.

Image caption Anmer has no shop or pub, but it does have a church and a social club

The club is home to darts and dominoes teams and is the headquarters of the Anmer Mere Yacht Club, whose Latin motto translates as "Never make me sail".

Its web page says: "As the only open water in Anmer is the village pond, aquatic pursuits are somewhat restricted, but the club undertakes a wide range of other activities, often involving liquids of more alcoholic nature."

Asked about the possibility of the Duke and Duchess moving to Anmer, Neville Warnes, who has lived in the village for 74 years, said: "I can't think that it would be anything other than good for the village."

Mr Warnes, 82, said he had been inside the hall on a number of occasions.

"It's nice inside. It's got lovely frontage, facing south, and it's homely. It's got quite a lot of grounds," he said.

"That's an ideal place for them to live and rear a family.

"It's isolated but surrounding the hall is the park where the child, or the children, will see the cattle, the sheep and get a general feeling of the countryside and rural life."

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