Simon Bowes Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, is facing a five-year jail term for sexually attacking a guest at his ancestral home, which was also the childhood home of the late Queen Mother.
The aristocrat has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman last year while she was sleeping during a luxury event he was hosting at the Glamis Castle. Simon reportedly barged his way into the victim’s bedroom in an inebriated state and groped her while telling her he wanted to have an affair.
The charge against the earl states that he repeatedly pushed his victim onto a bed, tried to pull up her nightdress, pushed her against a wall, and tried to kiss her and touch her during the ordeal that lasted more than 20 minutes. When she rejected his advances, he is believed to have called her a “rude, mean, bad and horrible person” and told her she could not tell him what to do.
The victim managed to get Simon out of the room and sent messages to other guests asking for help, but the Earl made a second attempt to get into her room.
In a hearing at Dundee Crown Court on Tuesday, the 34-year-old admitted to a charge of sexual assault and faces up to five years in jail for the offence. He was granted bail on the same day and has been placed on the sex offenders register as his sentence was deferred..
Meanwhile, Sheriff Alistair Carmichael also ordered that the Queen Mother’s ancestral home, Glamis Castle, be assessed for its suitability for a tagging order. The castle located in Angus, Scotland, has been the seat of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372.
Simon Bowes-Lyon is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, and is the great-great-nephew of her mother late Queen Elizabeth, born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon. He walked behind Princes William and Harry at the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege in 2002.
It is reported that Simon issued an apology to his victim as he left court saying he is “greatly ashamed” of his conduct, noting that “alcohol is no excuse” for it.
“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,” he said.
His barrister noted that he had since been undergoing counselling to try and understand his behaviour.