The late Queen Elizabeth II suggested to Prince Andrew the only way repair his damaged public image was to throw himself into charity work.
The Duke of York was reportedly given advice from his mother as a way of achieving redemption from the public.
Andrew, 62, retired from official royal duties in 2019 over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In February last year, he reached a financial settlement with accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre who had claimed she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17.
He has always denied the allegations and the out-of-court settlement was not an admission of guilt.
Since then, the duke has been seen in public just a handful of times.
Most recently he joined the King and other senior members of the family at Sandringham on Christmas Day, while in March he accompanied his mother into Westminster Abbey for a memorial service dedicated to his father Prince Philip.
Before then he is understood to have had conversations with her about how to stage a public comeback.
“Andrew’s mother suggested the route forward was taking on a charitable cause,” a source told The Independent.
“Other members of the family agreed and saw it as his only way to rehabilitation.”
As to what charity he would be connected to remains unclear.
Friends of Prince Andrew told the publication he is “becoming a recluse” as he remains “on his own” inside the Royal Lodge at Windsor.
“He’s seeing nobody, there’s a real element of isolation there, it feels like he’s becoming a recluse.
“He is desperate for rehabilitation but does not understand the humility and penance he needs to show following the case.
“He’s stuck inside this bubble of wanting to have a role in the royal family when he doesn’t have one anymore.”