The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge receive Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda in June, 2019 (Image: PA Wire/Steve Parsons)

Yesterday’s long-awaited release of the Palace Letters could breathe some life into Australia’s dormant republican movement. More evidence of then-governor-general Sir John Kerr’s mendacity in the Whitlam government dismissal puts the role of the Queen's representative back in the spotlight.

But what exactly do governors-general do -- and how much does the nation spend on them?

Governors-general by the numbers

The governor-general’s work -- managing official duties, maintaining “the official household and properties” and administering the honours system -- is facilitated by the office of his or her official secretary.