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Monarchy’s costs to Britons passes $65-million as repair bills mount

Queen Elizabeth II is pictured during a garden party at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland on June 24, 2014.

LIAM McBURNEY/REUTERS

Buckingham Palace says the monarchy cost British taxpayers £35.7-million ($65-million Canadian) last year – 56 pence (just over $1) for everyone in the country.

More than a third of the money was spent on repairs and maintenance to aging palaces.

Some £3.4-million was spent in the year to March 31 refurbishing part of London's Kensington Palace into a home for William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their toddler son, Prince George.

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The work included removing asbestos, installing new heating and "simple redecoration." William and Kate paid for carpets, curtains and furnishings themselves.

The Duke of Cambridge has considerable personal financial resources to draw upon, including the multimillion-pound estate left by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. He shares the proceeds of that estate with his brother, Prince Harry.

In addition, Prince Charles' private secretary, William Nye, suggested that the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – who are supported by the lucrative Duchy of Cornwall estate – may have helped William and Catherine set up their new home.

As the accounts were published Thursday, Keeper of the Privy Purse Alan Reid said the royal household was keen to "maximize the value for money" of the monarchy.

In 2011-12, the Monarchist League of Canada estimated the monarchy's annual cost to Canadian taxpayers was $56.9-million, or $1.63 per Canadian.

With a report from Globe staff

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