The Earl of Strathmore, Simon Bowes-Lyon — who is Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin twice removed — was jailed on Tuesday, February 23, for 10 months for sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home in Scotland.
Bowes-Lyon, 34, forced his way into a bedroom at Glamis Castle, where the 26-year-old woman was sleeping, during an event he was hosting in February 2020.
Earlier this year, Bowes-Lyon admitted assaulting the woman in the childhood home of the Queen’s late mother.
According to the BBC, the victim is still trying to process the attack, which lasted 20 minutes. Dundee Sheriff Court was told that Bowes-Lyon came to her room uninvited and tried to pull off her nightdress.
“[The victim] was asleep and was woken by knocking at the door,” prosecutor Lynne Mannion said, according to the report.
Bowes-Lyon begged the woman to "let him in," according to Mannion.
“She got up. The second she opened the door, he pushed his way in and pushed her onto the bed,” Mannion said. “He was very drunk and smelled of cigarettes. He told her he wanted to have an affair.”
"Even now — one year on — she still, occasionally, has nightmares and feels panicked because of being sexually assaulted by you,” Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told Bowes-Lyon. "This has also had an impact on her emotional wellbeing."
Last month, Bowes-Lyon pleaded guilty to the crime and admitted he was “greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home.”
Bowes-Lyon added that he was “deeply sorry” for his behavior, adding, “I would also like to apologize to family, friends and colleagues for the distress I have caused them.”
The Queen’s cousin said he was drinking “to excess” but clarified that it was “no excuse” for his actions.
“I did not think I was capable of behaving the way I did but have had to face up to it and take responsibility. Over the last year this has involved seeking and receiving professional help as well as agreeing to plead guilty as quickly as possible,” he concluded.
Bowes-Lyon — who was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years — originally faced five years in prison, but since he had shown “genuine remorse,” he will only be behind bars for less than a year.
Glamis Castle has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372.