Prince Andrew still hopes to return to public life and according to reports, he recently went on a secret trip to Bahrain because he "fancies his chances" as a government special representative for international trade and investment.

The disgraced royal quit public life in 2019 and no longer has his military titles and royal patronages. But sources claimed that he is eyeing a role in international trade as he believes that he can convince Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production.

According to The Sun, he is "targeting an unofficial role as intermediary between the West and oil-rich Gulf states in the energy crisis." The publication claimed that the Duke of York flew to Bahrain earlier this month "on a ­billionaire Swiss contact's jet to be pampered in five-star, all-expenses-paid luxury by his long-standing friends in the kingdom's Royal Family."

His visit was not recorded in the British Royal Family's Court Circular because he is no longer a working family member. A source said of his trip, "Prince Andrew no longer has a wide circle of friends but Royal Families do have a habit of sticking together. He's been close to the Bahraini Royal Family for many years and has always enjoyed his trips to Bahrain."

The insider added, "There are people there who have been loyal to the Queen's son and have deep pockets."

Meanwhile, there are speculations that he could start fresh in Bahrain because his reputation in the U.K. is already in tatters. However, a spokesman for Prince Andrew has yet to confirm his trip to the Middle East and if he is indeed looking for a role in trade.

However, the source's claims come following reports that his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have been left humiliated over his attempts to return to public life. They have allegedly urged him to leave the U.K. to avoid further embarrassment and to start a new life in another country.

Likewise, King Charles III was reportedly "not thrilled" when he learned that Prince Andrew attended a shooting party on the Windsor estate on Nov. 12. It is his view that his younger brother "should not be in the public eye."

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The Duke of York Prince Andrew Photo: AFP / JOHN THYS