Simon Bowes-Lyon said he was "greatly ashamed" of his actions

By Stephanie Petit
January 13, 2021 11:15 AM
Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty

Queen Elizabeth's relative faces prison time for a violent attack on a guest at his ancestral home of Glamis Castle in Scotland.

Simon Bowes-Lyon, the current Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in February 2020, according to the BBC.

During the 20-minute assault, Bowes-Lyon, 34, reportedly forced his way into the woman's room and tried to pull off her nightgown.

According to the Daily Record, fiscal depute Lynne Mannion said Bowes-Lyon was drunk and smelled of cigarettes as he told the woman he wanted to have an affair. The woman resisted and tried to raise her voice so another guest would hear her, but he repeatedly pushed her onto a bed, groped her and tried to kiss her.

After Bowes-Lyon left the room, he tried to get in again. However, the woman was successful in getting help from another guest staying at the castle.

The woman alerted police the morning after the attack.

Simon Bowes Lyon walks behind Prince William as a 15-year-old at the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002
| Credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

Bowes-Lyon — who is a great-great-nephew of the Queen Mother and cousin twice removed to the monarch — was granted bail and placed on the sex offenders register, with orders from the judge to assess if Glamis Castle was suitable for him to stay with electronic monitoring. Sentencing was deferred but he faces up to five years in prison, the Daily Record states.

Glamis Castle
| Credit: Robert Plattner/Oneworld Picture/Universal Images Group via Getty

Bowes-Lyon said outside court that he was "greatly ashamed," the BBC reports.

"Clearly I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident. I should have known better. I recognize, in any event, that alcohol is no excuse for my behavior," he said. "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 added, "My apologies go, above all, to the woman concerned, but I would also like to apologize to family, friends and colleagues for the distress I have caused them."

Glamis Castle, the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372, was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.