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Queen’s cousin Simon Bowes-Lyon face jails over sex assault at royal castle

The Queen’s cousin faces prison for a violent sex attack on a guest at his ancestral home.

Simon 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.

Simon Bowes-Lyon, a cousin of the Queen, faces prison after he sexually assaulted a guest at his ancestral home. Pictured: Bowes-Lyon outside Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday

The violent incident, to which the 34-year-old aristocrat has admitted, took place at Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the Queen Mother. The castle, found near the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland is the seat of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne

The violent incident, to which the 34-year-old aristocrat has admitted, took place at Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the Queen Mother. The castle, found near the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland is the seat of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne

Bowes-Lyon, 34, who is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, admitted a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Dundee Crown Court

 Bowes-Lyon, 34, who is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, admitted a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Dundee Crown Court

Bowes-Lyon (circled) – who as a 15-year-old walked behind Prince William in the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege – issued an apology to his victim as he left court, adding that he is ‘greatly ashamed’ of his conduct and that ‘alcohol is no excuse’

Bowes-Lyon (circled) – who as a 15-year-old walked behind Prince William in the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege – issued an apology to his victim as he left court, adding that he is ‘greatly ashamed’ of his conduct and that ‘alcohol is no excuse’

Laird’s previous brushes with police including a 200-mile trip to Barnard Castle during lockdown

Simon Bowes-Lyon is facing jail for a violent sex assault – but it is not the first time he’s been in trouble with the law.   

He is a first cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II, and a great-great-nephew of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. His family owns Glamis Castle and inherited a share of his father’s £40 million estate.

In June 2020, Durham Police contacted the Earl for violating the COVID-19 related travel restrictions then in place. 

A report said he travelled 200 miles to Holwick Lodge, Middleton-in-Teesdale, and was outed when his butler went to the shops.

‘It’s the talk of the village,’ a local source said at the time. ‘His butler was spotted buying newspapers.’ 

In 2010 he was banned from the road for nine months after he was clocked riding his motorbike at 100 mph on a 60 mph stretch of road.

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.

She 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 faces up to five years in jail for the offence. The aristocrat was granted bail yesterday and placed on the sex offenders register as his sentence was deferred for reports.

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.

Bowes-Lyon – who as a 15-year-old walked behind Prince William in the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege – issued an apology to his victim as he left court, adding that he is ‘greatly ashamed’ of his conduct and that ‘alcohol is no excuse’.

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

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

She said Bowes-Lyon, a great-great nephew of the Queen Mother, 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.

Simon Bowes-Lyon is a great-great nephew of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother through his great-great grandfather Claude

Simon Bowes-Lyon is a great-great nephew of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother through his great-great grandfather Claude

Bowes-Lyon, known for his love of fast cars and holidays with reality TV stars, was named one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors by Tatler in 2019. Pictured: Simon Bowes-Lyon with his father the Earl of Strathmore in 2000

Bowes-Lyon, known for his love of fast cars and holidays with reality TV stars, was named one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors by Tatler in 2019. Pictured: Simon Bowes-Lyon with his father the Earl of Strathmore in 2000

Glamis Castle has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372. The Queen Mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 (pictured), grew up there

Glamis Castle has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372. The Queen Mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 (pictured), grew up there

‘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.’

Timeline: How the great-great-nephew of the Queen Mother ended up in the dock

February 13, 2020: Simon Bowes-Lyon forced his way into a sleeping woman’s room and assaulted her during a travel PR weekend he was hosting at the 16,500-acre estate, Glamis Castle.  

He sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. 

Bowes-Lyon admitted repeatedly pushing her onto a bed, forcibly grabbing her breasts, repeatedly trying to pull her nightdress, pushing her against a wall, touching her bottom and genilalia and trying to kiss her.

February 14, 2020: The woman fled the castle in the morning and flew home to immediately report the matter to police. Both Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police were involved in the investigation.

Bowes-Lyon emailed an apology to the woman – but gave police a ‘no comment’ interview at Dundee HQ.

January 12, 2020:  At Dundee Sheriff Court he admitted he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. 

The wealthy aristocrat was granted bail and placed on the Sex Offenders Register as sentence was deferred for reports. 

Miss Mannion said Bowes-Lyon then pushed his victim up against a wall and groped her and grabbed her bottom.

She added: ‘She raised her voice in the hope that another guest would hear her. She panicked because she did not know the layout of the castle. She had no signal. He refused to leave. He got into bed and began pulling at her. She had to keep pushing him off.’

Bowes-Lyon called her ‘a rude, mean, bad and horrible person’ and told her she could not tell him what to do in his own home.

After more than 20 minutes she eventually managed to get him out of her room and sent a series of messages asking other guests for help.

Bowes-Lyon returned and tried to get into the room again, but the woman managed to get hold of another guest in another part of the castle and he came to help.

The man later reported that she was ‘distressed’ when he spoke to her and that Bowes-Lyon had fallen asleep when he went to confront him about the incident.

The woman fled the castle in the morning and flew home to immediately report the matter to police.

Bowes-Lyon emailed an apology to the woman and he offered another apology for his behaviour in court yesterday.

His barrister, John Scott QC, said: ‘He is truly sorry for what he accepts was shameful conduct.’

He said Bowes-Lyon had since been to counselling to try and understand his behaviour.

Speaking outside court yesterday, Bowes-Lyon said: ‘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.’

Bowes-Lyon, known for his love of fast cars and holidays with reality TV stars, was named one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors by Tatler in 2019.

The 19th and 6th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, he was styled Lord Glamis until his father’s death in 2016.

Among his famous friends are Made In Chelsea TV stars Hugo Taylor and Oliver Proudlock, Bryan Ferry’s son Otis and model and socialite Poppy Delevingne.

Home to the Queen Mother… and Macbeth 

Glamis Castle inspired Shakespeare and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.

It has witnessed some of Scotland’s most momentous historical events over the past 1,000 years. King Malcolm II was killed at a hunting lodge on the site of the present-day castle in 1034.

In the Shakespeare tragedy, Macbeth lived at Glamis Castle in the 11th century, although in reality the king had no connection to the place.

Glamis has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372. The Queen Mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 (pictured), grew up there.

During the First World War she worked as a nurse when part of her ancestral home was used as a hospital for wounded troops.

Glamis Castle was where she was wooed by the then-Duke of York – the future George VI – and they spent part of their honeymoon there.

The Queen Mother, pictured, gave birth to Princess Margaret on a stormy night at Glamis in 1930. She was the first royal baby born in Scotland since 1600.

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