It's very clear that the BRF does not do any strategic planning...which kills me. But considering the ill health Alexandra (and Edward) have suffered the last several years, their age 80+, and Charles's desire to "slim down" the monarchy it simply behoves the BRF to think ahead. Alexandra (and Edward) have been damn lucky to recover so well every time they face illness or injury but such a good recovery is never a sure thing especially at their age. Whether they retire tomorrow or a decade from now the overall BRF strategic plan should allow them to do so. AFAIK Philip is the first member to retire of his own free will (not do to very ill health). QEQM was still carrying out engagements at 100, Princess Alice at 98, while this is great it shouldn't be the standard or expectation.
You have the 2nd in line saying he can't do more because he's grandparent do to much (2016?)...basically the youngest generation is forcing the oldest to keep working. William and Harry could each easily carry out 300+ engagements a year (with 400+ being the goal by 2026) and Kate and Meghan could easily do half that (for that stay at home mom time). If the foursome buckled down the Kent's numbers could be easily absorbed.
Now of course I don't know what the Kent's want but am worried that despite their ill health no one has thought this through...hopefully I'm wrong.
For you, Oh_Caroline
It's also important to talk about engagements and patronages. Alexandra did 68 engagements last year but is patron of more than 100 charities. They are still struggling to divy up the DoE's patronages and start passing on some of the queen's. How will they deal with the hundreds that sit under the Kents and the Gloucesters. If indeed, they do. If they decide to strip it back to the young royals' core interests, then you face hundreds of charities losing any royal patronage at very short notice.
Now there is an argument about the benefit of royal patronage to charities, but it does imbue them with credibility in the eyes of fundraisers and can help raise their profile. Also, one of the unspoken justifications for the BRF is that they are essentially very wealthy charity workers. They turn up, cut a ribbon, unveil a plaque, and in return get their rent paid.
The younger royals seem to prefer a more 'Blue Peter' style engagement where they throw wellies, make cakes, go rowing, watch galas, pt ogs. This is all lovely but is much more about promoting themselves and their personal interests rather than the more traditional quiet toil in support of local good causes.
The next few years could see a massive change in the relationship between the royals and the charitable sector...