The Queen's cousin released from prison after serving five months for sexual assault

Simon Bowes-Lyon is the 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and was released early after sexual assault charge

Simon Bowes-Lyon
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Queen's cousin Simon Bowes-Lyon—the 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne—was sentenced to 10 months after pleading guilty in February 2021. He's the great-great-nephew of the Queen Mother.


The Queen's distant cousin Simon Bowes-Lyon, the 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was released from HMP Perth in Scotland after five months, where he served time after pleading guilty to sexual assault.

The incident occurred in February 2020 in his family’s ancestral home, Glamis Castle in Scotland. Glamis Castle was the childhood home of the Queen's mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

During his trial, the court heard the horrifying ordeal that his victim went through. The woman in question, who was attending a three-day public relations event at the castle, had gone to bed when at around 1.20am she was persuaded by Simon to open her door. 

The Guardian reported that from there things went from bad to worse as the Earl, who was said to be "drunk," convinced her to, "open the door and forced his way in before pushing her on the bed and sexually assaulting her."

At the time of his conviction, in Dundee Sheriff Court, Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told the Earl, "Throughout all of this she made it clear that she wanted you to stop. She told you repeatedly that she had a boyfriend, repeatedly told you to leave and repeatedly had to keep pushing you away from her." Adding, "All of which you ignored. Once she’d finally managed to eject you from her bedroom, you returned to the door and pleaded with her to let you back in."

Simon Bowes-Lyon

(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

The sheriff also added that the whole attack lasted for 20 minutes and the woman was forced to lock her bedroom door as well as using a chair under the handle to wedge it shut in order to prevent him from coming back into her room. He added that, understandably, the woman was left "upset and afraid" and "shaking".

As well as his ten-month sentence, the Queen's cousin has also been put on the sex offenders register.

The Earl claims he was drunk at the time and 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." Adding, "Over the last year this has involved seeking and receiving professional help as well as agreeing to plead guilty as quickly as possible."

Aoife Hanna


Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with over 1500 bylines and a background in creative writing, comedy and TV production.

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