Simon Bowes-Lyon, 34, repeatedly pushed a 26-year-old woman onto a bed and against a wall, forcibly grabbed her breasts and tried to pull up her nightdress (Picture: Gordon Currie / Mark Richards / Getty Images)
The Queen’s cousin faces a prison sentence after sexually attacking a guest inside the Queen Mother’s childhood home.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, 34, pleaded guilty to forcing his way into a sleeping woman’s room and assaulting her while drunk.
He is said to have repeatedly pushed her onto a bed and against a wall, forcibly grabbed her breasts and tried to pull up her nightdress in an attack lasting 20 minutes.
Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion told Dundee Sheriff Court: ‘The accused is the Earl of Strathmore. He resides at his ancestral home of Glamis Castle. He divides his time between the castle and a property in London.’
The wealthy aristocrat, who is known as ‘Sam’ and is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, was hosting a PR travel weekend at the 16,500-acre estate in Angus, Scotland.
Bowes-Lyon was yesterday granted bail and placed on the sex offenders register as sentence was deferred for reports.
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael also ordered Glamis Castle to be assessed for its suitability for a tagging order.
The multi-millionaire landowner – who described himself to police as a ‘farmer’ – stood with his head bowed as the charge was read to him.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, 34, pictured outside Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday (Picture: Gordon Currie)
He admitted on February 13 last year at Glamis Castle he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Mrs Mannion explained Glamis Castle had been chosen to host several people over a weekend for a feature for a luxury lifestyle magazine, which included gin tasting, helicopter rides, shooting and a tour of the castle.
On the first night, the victim noticed no one was talking to Bowes-Lyon during dinner so she spoke to him and he took her outside to show her one of his classic cars.
The following evening there was a black tie dinner and, after the victim went to bed, Bowes-Lyon carried on drinking before arriving uninvited at her room at 1.20am.
‘She was asleep and was woken by knocking at the door,’ said Mrs Mannion.
She said Bowes-Lyon told the woman: ‘It’s Sam. It’s important. Please let me in.’
Bowes-Lyon lives in the 16,500-acre Glamis Castle estate in Angus, Scotland (Picture: Getty Images)
‘She thought something was wrong so she got up,’ added Mrs Mannion, ‘It was pitch black. The second she opened the door he pushed his way in and pushed her onto the bed.
‘He was very drunk and smelled of cigarettes. He told her he wanted to have an affair. He grabbed her breast and nipple very hard. 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.
‘He pushed her against the wall and grabbed her nipple again, so hard that it still hurt the next day. He grabbed her bottom and her vagina.
‘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.’
Bowes-Lyon is a great-great nephew of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and walked behind Prince William in her funeral cortege as a 15-year-old in 2002 (Picture: Mark Richards)
Bowes-Lyon was said to have told the terrified woman, ‘I’m going to f**k you,’ and got into bed, and she had to keep pushing him off.
He told her she needed a ‘shafting’ and she told him to ‘f**k off’.
Bowes-Lyon then 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 got him to leave her room and sent a series of messages asking her colleagues and boyfriend for help.
Bowes-Lyon returned and tried to get into the room again, but she managed to get hold of the publisher in another part of the castle who came to help.
The publisher 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 left the castle in the morning and flew home to report what happened to police.
Both Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police were involved in the investigation and Bowes-Lyon gave a ‘no comment’ interview at Dundee HQ.
Bowes-Lyon emailed an apology to the woman after being told to by the publisher and he offered another apology for his behaviour yesterday in court.
Counsel 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.
Outside court, 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.
Glamis Castle was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (Picture: Getty Images)
‘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.’
The flashy aristocrat, who boasts about his love of fast cars and holidays with reality TV stars, and was named in Britain’s 50 Most Eligible Batchelors by Tatler in 2019, gave police a ‘no comment’ interview at Dundee HQ.
Nobleman and peer Bowes-Lyon is the 19th and 6th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was styled Lord Glamis from 1987 until his father died in 2016.
He is the eldest son of Michael ‘Mikey’ Bowes-Lyon, the 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn – who was known for having difficulties with alcohol – and Isobel Weatherall. They divorced in 2004.
He is a great-great nephew of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and walked behind Prince William in her funeral cortege as a 15-year-old in 2002.
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. He was also a one-time Conservative whip in the House of Lords.
In June 2020, Durham Police contacted the Earl for violating coronavirus-related travel restrictions then in place after a report said he travelled 200 miles to Holwick Lodge, Middleton-in-Teesdale, and was spotted by his butler buying newspapers.
In 2010 he was banned from the road for nine months after he was caught riding his motorbike at 100mph on a 60mph stretch of road.
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