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Queen Elizabeth’s Cousin Gets 10 Months in Prison for Sexual Assault at His Castle

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Queen Elizabeth's Cousin Gets 10 Months in Prison for Sexual Assault at His Castle
WENN/Dutch Press Photo

Simon Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore, receives a lighter sentence after he admitted to assaulting a woman in a bedroom at Glamis Castle in Scotland in February 2020.

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A cousin of Queen Elizabeth II has been sent to jail for his dishonorable wrongdoing. Simon Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore, has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral castle.

The 34-year-old, who is a first cousin twice removed of the queen, was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court in Scotland on Tuesday, February 23. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. The judge said his castle would meet the criteria for house arrest, but concluded that such a sentence would not fit the severity of the crime.

Bowes-Lyon had previously admitted to assaulting the woman in a bedroom at Glamis Castle during an event being held at the Scottish castle in February 2020. He pleaded guilty in January, saying he was “greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home.”

During the attack, Bowes-Lyon was hosting a three-day public relations event at the castle attended by the victim. The woman had gone to bed when a drunk Bowes-Lyon went to her room at around 1:20 A.M. He persuaded her to open the door and then pushed her onto the bed, tried to lift her nightdress and assaulted her for 20 minutes.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael, who laid out the details of the assault in court, said, “Even now — one year on — she still, occasionally, has nightmares and feels panicked because of being sexually assaulted by you.”

Queen Elizabeth's Cousin Simon Bowes-Lyon

Simon Bowes-Lyon leaves court after being sentenced for sexual assault.

In a statement released through his spokesperson, Bowes-Lyon said, “I am greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home. When I realised what I had done I apologised quickly to the woman concerned. I apologise wholeheartedly again today. I am deeply sorry for my behaviour and the anguish it has caused.”

“Clearly, I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident,” he added. “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.”

He initially faced up to five years in prison, but got the lighter term after his attorney John Scott reminded the court that the earl had shown “genuine remorse.”

Glamis Castle, near Dundee in central Scotland, is the childhood home of the queen’s late mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Bowes-Lyon is also the great-great nephew of the Queen Mother, who passed away in 2002 at age 101.