Buckingham Palace today denied a report that the queen is passing more of her duties to grandson Prince William—grooming him as a "shadow king" and bypassing Prince Charles—with a royal spokesman calling it "nonsense," reports the AP. The Mail on Sunday's front-page story cited a classified Treasury note showing the prince will incur more expenses because he will be undertaking duties on behalf of the 83-year-old monarch.
Buckingham Palace said that William is gradually taking on more political duties as he gets older, but his focus remains on his military career. The Mail speculates that the memo indicates the queen believes William represents the best future for the monarchy—which, incidentally, is bound to add pressure on the prince to pop the question to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. (Read more Prince William stories.)