A cousin of the Queen has been released from jail after serving just half of his prison sentence for sexually assaulting a woman at a castle.

Simon Bowes-Lyon, 35, the Earl of Strathmore, was sentenced to 10 months in February for the 20 minute attack on a guest staying at Glamis Castle in Angus, his ancestral home.

It is understood that Bowes-Lyon, the son of a cousin of the Queen, was released from HMP Perth last week. 

The victim was attending a three-day public relations event in February 2020 at the 16,500-acre estate and had gone to bed when a “drunk” Bowes-Lyon went to her room at around 1.20am.

He persuaded her to open the door before pushing her on the bed and sexually assaulting her in a 20-minute ordeal.

HeraldScotland: Glamis Castle in Angus can be found nearby

Glamis Castle in Angus.


His victim locked the bedroom door and wedged a chair under the handle to prevent him getting back in.

He was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to the assault. 

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said it did not comment on individual cases.

In a statement outside court, Bowes-Lyon apologised and said he is “greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home”.

He said he had “drunk to excess” on the night of the attack but acknowledged it was “no excuse” for his actions.

He added: “I did not think I was capable of behaving the way I did but have had to face up to it and take responsibility.

“This has involved seeking and receiving professional help as well as agreeing to plead guilty as quickly as possible.”

Glamis Castle is the seat of the earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, part of the late Queen Mother’s family.

A spokesman for Strathmore Estates declined to comment.