The Queen’s playboy cousin who sexually assaulted a guest at the Queen Mother’s childhood castle is friends with a host of stars and was recently shopped to the police for driving to the Barnard Castle area during lockdown when his butler was spotted at the shops, MailOnline can reveal today.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, who was named in the top 50 of the UK’s most eligible bachelors by Tatler in 2019, faces up to five years in prison and has been placed on the sex offenders register after abusing his victim, 26, at his Glamis Castle home.
The 19th and 6th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne was styled Lord Glamis until his father’s death in 2016 and among his famous friends are Made In Chelsea TV stars Hugo Taylor and Oliver Proudlock, Bryan Ferry’s son Otis and model and socialite Poppy Delevingne.
Today MailOnline can reveal that just weeks after the sex attack, in June 2020, Durham Police contacted the Earl, whose friends call him Sam, for violating the COVID-19 related travel restrictions then in place.
He travelled 200 miles to one of his second homes, a lodge on the family’s £20million Holwick estate in Middleton-in-Teesdale, just outside Barnard Castle, where Dominic Cummings went on his notorious lockdown drive to test his eyesight a month earlier.
Bowes-Lyon was outed to local detectives when onec of his servants was seen as he went to the shops. ‘It’s the talk of the village,’ a local source said at the time. ‘His butler was spotted buying newspapers.’ The Earl then agreed to return to Glamis Castle in Scotland – the childhood home of the Queen Mother.
And in 2010 he was banned from the road for nine months after he was clocked riding his motorbike at 100 mph on a 60 mph stretch of road. It was noted in court, as the then 24-year-old was fined £500, that his licence had accumulated 23 penalty points due to various speeding convictions.
His father, the rambunctious Mikey, was a larger-than-life character who battled alcohol problems, married three times, romped with escorts and was known as the ‘head of the Queen’s Scottish family’.
Certainly this highly-colourful lifestyle meant the young Lord Glamis, along with his two brothers John ‘Jock’ Bowes-Lyon, 31, and George ‘Geordie’ Bowes-Lyon, did not have the most conventional start in life.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, pictured left with his friend Made In Chelsea star Hugo Taylor in his Rolls Royce, has been warned he faces prison after a sex attack at his ancestral home
Bowes-Lyons, pictured here with friend Hugo at a party, in an Instagram post liked by his friend Poppy Delevingne, who used several heart emojis
The Earl poses with his brothers John and George, who have homes in London, County Durham and also lived together at the family castle in Scotland
Simon Bowes-Lyon, a cousin of the Queen, faces prison after he sexually assaulted a guest at his ancestral home. Pictured: Bowes-Lyon outside Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday
The violent incident, to which the 34-year-old aristocrat has admitted, took place at Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the Queen Mother. The castle, found near the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland is the seat of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Troubled Laird’s brushes with police and how his sex assault conviction is another cursed day for the Bowes-Lyon family
The fourth season of The Crown tells the tragic story of the Queen’s ‘hidden’ cousins Katherine (left) and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon (right), who were locked up in an asylum and neglected
Simon Bowes-Lyon is facing jail for a violent sex assault – but it is not the first time he’s been in trouble with the law – and yet another stain on the Queen Mother’s family.
The troubled Earl is a first cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II, and a great-great-nephew of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. His family owns Glamis Castle and inherited a share of his father’s £40 million estate.
His father was known for his chequered relationships and struggles with alcohol.
In June 2020, Durham Police contacted the Earl for violating the COVID-19 related travel restrictions then in place.
A report said he travelled 200 miles to Holwick Lodge, Middleton-in-Teesdale, and was outed when his butler went to the shops.
In 2010 he was banned from the road for nine months after he was clocked riding his motorbike at 100 mph on a 60 mph stretch of road.
And now he faces up to five years in prison for an appalling sex attack on a guest to his home.
The latest episode is yet another stain on the Bowes-Lyon family.
The Netflix drama offers its take on the shameful scandal that saw sisters Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon – the Queen Mother’s nieces – neglected and forgotten about for decades.
At the ages of 15 and 22 respectively, the pair, who were unable to speak due to their condition, were secretly placed in the Royal Earlswood Institution for Mental Defectives in Redhill, Surrey by their parents in 1941.
They remained at the institution, cruelly dubbed The National Asylum for Idiots, for the majority of their lives and, according to reports, were barely ever visited and registered as dead.
Sam has reportedly spent time working in a mine in Zimbabwe, and is pals with the fast-living Chelsea set, some of whom have become TV stars thanks to the reality television show Made In Chelsea. In particular, he is close to the show’s star Hugo Taylor.
The pair shared an ill-fated skiing trip to Switzerland that saw Taylor end up in hospital with a fractured shoulder. Other friends include the show’s Oliver Proudjoined lock and fashionista Rosie Fortescue.
Another chum is Otis Ferry, the controversial son of Bryan Ferry and fox hunting advocate. He is also acquainted with the model and socialite Poppy Delevingne, older sister to the increasingly ubiquitous model Cara Delevingne. His royal connections, meanwhile, are never far away. George McCorquodale, cousin to Prince Harry and Prince William and nephew of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is another pal.
The Bowes-Lyon brothers certainly seem at home at Glamis.
In one Instagram video posted by Geordie, a scene that wouldn’t be out of place in Brideshead Revisited unfolds as what appears to be Sam and a friend whiz up the main drive in a motorbike and sidecar.
Driving at some speed, they narrowly avoid clipping the verge while bemused tourists look on.
Indeed life for the trio seems to be something of a whirlwind of walked up grouse shoots, society parties and girls in pretty dresses – another of their father’s weaknesses.
The demise of Mikey’s first marriage to the boys’ mother was turbulent. Isobel – known to friends as Iso – demanded the right to live at Glamis until 2016, the year Geordie would reach the age of 25.
In the end, she accepted a £5million settlement which, at her insistence, included paintings and the couple’s matrimonial four poster bed.
She later sold the bed at auction in London, where she raised eyebrows by scribbling out the ‘Countess of Strathmore’ title from her name badge and writing in ‘Iso’ instead.
The current Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne found himself in the dock after he barged his way into the woman’s bedroom while she was sleeping during an event he was hosting at Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the home of Macbeth in William Shakespeare’s play.
He repeatedly grabbed his victim and told her he wanted to have an affair with her – although he is unmarried – during the drink-fuelled assault, which lasted more than 20 minutes. He is said to have tried to pull up her nightdress, and pushed her up against a wall and groped her bottom and genitals.
Bowes-Lyon was hosting a party for a luxury lifestyle magazine, where guests enjoyed gin tasting, helicopter rides, shooting and a tour of the castle.
His victim took pity on her attacker when she noticed no-one was talking to Bowes-Lyon during dinner and she engaged him in conversation, he then took her outside to show her one of his many 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 1.20 am and carried out the attack on the woman, who cannot be named. He admitted the sexual assault at Dundee Sheriff Court and will be sentenced at a later date.
The nobleman and peer was styled Lord Glamis from 1987 until his father’s death in 2016. He is the eldest son of Michael ‘Mikey’ Bowes-Lyon, 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn, and Isobel Weatherall. His parents divorced in 2004, and he succeeded his father in 2016.
He is a first cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II, and a great-great-nephew of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. His family owns Glamis Castle and inherited a share of his father’s £40 million estate.
His father was known for his chequered relationships and struggles with alcohol. The former Scots Guards captain was considered to be ‘head of the Queen’s Scottish family’ and walked behind Prince Charles and Prince William at the Queen Mother’s funeral.
His 14th-century family seat, Glamis Castle, in Forfar, was the Queen Mother’s childhood home. His will included a £14m share of Glamis and the £20m Holwick Estate in County Durham.
He was a one-time Conservative whip in the House of Lords, but developed an alcohol problem and was discovered in a Darlington massage parlour near his English stately home.
Glamis Castle has been the seat of the Bowes Lyon family since 1372. The most famous recent member is Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, better known as the Queen Mother.
The mother of the current British monarch grew up in Glamis and bore her second child, Princess Margaret, on the 16,500-acre estate. More than 100,000 visitors tour the 130-room castle every year.
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. Pictured: Simon Bowes-Lyon with his father the Earl of Strathmore in 2000
Bowes-Lyon, 34, who is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, admitted a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Dundee Crown Court
Bowes-Lyon (circled) – who as a 15-year-old walked behind Prince William in the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege – issued an apology to his victim as he left court, adding that he is ‘greatly ashamed’ of his conduct and that ‘alcohol is no excuse’
Timeline: How the great-great-nephew of the Queen Mother ended up in the dock
February 13, 2020: Simon Bowes-Lyon forced his way into a sleeping woman’s room and assaulted her during a travel PR weekend he was hosting at the 16,500-acre estate, Glamis Castle.
He sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Bowes-Lyon admitted repeatedly pushing her onto a bed, forcibly grabbing her breasts, repeatedly trying to pull her nightdress, pushing her against a wall, touching her bottom and genilalia and trying to kiss her.
February 14, 2020: The woman fled the castle in the morning and flew home to immediately report the matter to police. Both Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police were involved in the investigation.
Bowes-Lyon emailed an apology to the woman – but gave police a ‘no comment’ interview at Dundee HQ.
January 12, 2020: At Dundee Sheriff Court he admitted he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The wealthy aristocrat was granted bail and placed on the Sex Offenders Register as sentence was deferred for reports.
Bowes-Lyon called the victim ‘a rude, mean, bad and horrible person’ and told her she could not tell him what to do in his own home during the attack.
After more than 20 minutes she eventually managed to get him out of her room – in his private wing – 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 and he came to help.
He 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.
She eventually managed to get him out of the room and sent messages asking other guests for help, only for him to return and try to get into the room again.
Bowes-Lyon, 34, who is the Queen’s cousin twice removed, admitted a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Dundee Crown Court yesterday.
He faces up to five years in jail for the offence. The aristocrat was granted bail yesterday and placed on the sex offenders register as his sentence was deferred for reports.
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael also ordered that Glamis Castle should be assessed for its suitability for a tagging order.
The charge stated that he repeatedly pushed his victim on to a bed, tried to pull up her nightdress, pushed her against a wall, and tried to kiss her and touch her during the event at the 16,500-acre estate last year.
The young woman managed to fend off his advances until he eventually left her room, located in his private wing of the castle in eastern Scotland.
Bowes-Lyon – who as a 15-year-old walked behind Prince William in the Queen Mother’s funeral cortege – issued an apology to his victim as he left court, adding that he is ‘greatly ashamed’ of his conduct and that ‘alcohol is no excuse’.
Police: Conviction of Queen’s cousin shows that ‘status’ doesn’t protect you from prosecution
Police have welcomed the conviction of a relative of the Queen who admitted sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, 34, the Earl of Strathmore, attacked the woman at Glamis Castle, Angus, in February last year.
Bowes-Lyon, who is the son of a cousin of the Queen, will be sentenced at a later date and is being placed on the sex offenders register.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that the incident happened in a bedroom at the castle.
Detective Inspector Marc Lorente, from Police Scotland’s Tayside Division Criminal Investigation Department, said: ‘We welcome the conviction of Simon Bowes-Lyon who has admitted to his actions.
‘Working with the Metropolitan Police, we carried out a thorough investigation into this sexual assault and I would like to thank the victim for her bravery, courage and support throughout our inquiries.
‘This case shows that no matter the status of an individual involved, we will listen to victims and investigate thoroughly to ensure offenders are held accountable for their actions.’
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
The court was told the incident happened as Glamis Castle hosted several people for a luxury weekend.
On the first night, the victim noticed nobody was talking to Bowes-Lyon, who is known as ‘Sam’, during dinner and she engaged him in conversation.
The following evening there was a black-tie dinner and, after the woman went to bed, Bowes-Lyon carried on drinking before arriving uninvited at her room at 1.20am.
Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion said: ‘She was asleep and was woken by knocking at the door.’
She said Bowes-Lyon, a great-great nephew of the Queen Mother, told the woman: ‘It’s Sam. It’s important. Please let me in.
‘She thought something was wrong so she got up. It was pitch black. The second she opened the door he pushed his way in and pushed her on to the bed.
‘He was very drunk and smelled of cigarettes. He told her he wanted to have an affair. 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.’
Miss Mannion said Bowes-Lyon then pushed his victim up against a wall and groped her and grabbed her bottom.
She added: ‘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. He got into bed and began pulling at her. She had to keep pushing him off.’
Bowes-Lyon called her ‘a rude, mean, bad and horrible person’ and told her she could not tell him what to do in his own home.
After more than 20 minutes she eventually managed to get him out of her room and sent a series of messages asking other guests for help.
Bowes-Lyon returned and tried to get into the room again, but the woman managed to get hold of another guest in another part of the castle and he came to help.
The man 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.
Simon Bowes-Lyon is a great-great nephew of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother through his great-great grandfather Claude
Glamis Castle has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372. The Queen Mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 (pictured), grew up there
The woman fled the castle in the morning and flew home to immediately report the matter to police.
Bowes-Lyon emailed an apology to the woman and he offered another apology for his behaviour in court yesterday.
His barrister, 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.
Speaking outside court yesterday, 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.
‘I did not think I was capable of behaving the way I did but have had to face up to it and take responsibility.’
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.
Earl’s castle was home to the Queen Mother… and Macbeth
Glamis Castle inspired Shakespeare and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.
It has witnessed some of Scotland’s most momentous historical events over the past 1,000 years. King Malcolm II was killed at a hunting lodge on the site of the present-day castle in 1034.
In the Shakespeare tragedy, Macbeth lived at Glamis Castle in the 11th century, although in reality the king had no connection to the place.
Glamis has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372. The Queen Mother, who was born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 (pictured), grew up there.
During the First World War she worked as a nurse when part of her ancestral home was used as a hospital for wounded troops.
Glamis Castle was where she was wooed by the then-Duke of York – the future George VI – and they spent part of their honeymoon there.
The Queen Mother, pictured, gave birth to Princess Margaret on a stormy night at Glamis in 1930. She was the first royal baby born in Scotland since 1600.