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Queen Elizabeth’s Cousin, Simon Bowes-Lyon, Faces Jail After Sex Assault On Guest


Simon Bowes Lyon

Simon Bowes-Lyon (Earl of Strathmore) | Image: Gordon Currie

Queen Elizabeth‘s cousin, Simon Bowes-Lyon, is facing jail for a violent sex attack after breaking into a woman’s room and groping her.

Bowes-Lyon, the current Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, barged his way into the woman’s bedroom while she was sleeping during an event he was hosting at Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the Queen Mother.

He repeatedly grabbed his victim and told her he wanted to have an affair with her during the drink-fuelled assault, which lasted more than 20 minutes. He is said to have tried to pull up her nightdress, and pushed her up against a wall and groped her.

When she rejected his advances, he is said to have called her a “rude, mean, bad and horrible person” and told her she could not tell him what to do in his own home.

The woman eventually managed to get him out of the room and sent messages asking other guests for help, only for him to return and try to get into the room again.

Bowes-Lyon, 34, who is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, admitted a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Dundee Crown Court yesterday. He was granted bail yesterday and placed on the sex offenders register as his sentence was deferred for reports.

Queen Elizabeth II | Image: Getty Images

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael also ordered that Glamis Castle should be assessed for its suitability for a tagging order. The charge stated that he repeatedly pushed his victim on to a bed, tried to pull up her nightdress, pushed her against a wall, and tried to kiss her and touch her during the event at the 16,500-acre estate last year.

The young woman managed to fend off his advances until he eventually left her room, located in his private wing of the castle in eastern Scotland.

The court was told the incident happened as Glamis Castle hosted several people for a luxury weekend. On the first night, the victim noticed nobody was talking to Bowes-Lyon, who is known as ‘Sam’, during dinner and she engaged him in conversation.


The 16,500-acre Glamis Castle estate in Angus Scotland where Simon Bowes-Lyon lives | Image: Getty Images

The following evening there was a black-tie dinner at the castle and, after the woman went to bed, Bowes-Lyon carried on drinking before arriving uninvited at her room at 1.20 am.

Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion said: “She was asleep and was woken by knocking at the door.”

She said Bowes-Lyon told the woman: “It’s Sam. It’s important. Please let me in.

“She thought something was wrong so she got up. It was pitch black. The second she opened the door he pushed his way in and pushed her on to the bed. He was very drunk and smelled of cigarettes. He told her he wanted to have an affair. He tried to pull her nightdress up.

“She went into the en suite to get away but the accused followed her, stopped her closing the door, and lit a cigarette. She squeezed past and went back to the bedroom.”

The woman fled the castle in the morning and flew home to immediately report the matter to the police – with both Police Scotland and the Met Police involved in the probe.

Bowes-Lyon issued an apology as he left court: “I am greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home. Clearly, I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident.

“As someone who is only too well aware of the damage that alcohol can cause, I should have known better. I recognise, in any event, that alcohol is no excuse for my behaviour. I did not think I was capable of behaving the way I did but have had to face up to it and take responsibility.

“My apologies go, above all, to the woman concerned, but I would also like to apologise to family, friends and colleagues for the distress I have caused them.”

Simon Bowes-Lyon faces up to five years in jail for the offence.

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