Buckingham Palace has denied a newspaper report that the queen is passing more of her duties to her grandson, Prince William.

Royal spokesman Miguel Head said the report that William is being groomed to be "shadow king," bypassing his father Prince Charles, is nonsense.

The Mail on Sunday said on its front page that the queen is handing over a substantial part of her public duties to the prince to ease the 83-year-old monarch's work load. The report said it obtained a classified Treasury note showing the prince will incur more expenses because he will be undertaking duties on behalf of the queen.

Head said Sunday that William is gradually taking on more political duties as he gets older, but his focus remains on his military career.

William is second in line to the throne.