The Queen’s cousin faces prison for a violent sex attack on a guest at his ancestral home.
Simon Bowes-Lyon, the current Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, 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.
He repeatedly grabbed his victim and told her he wanted to have an affair with her 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. When she rejected his advances, he is said to have called her a ‘rude, mean, bad and horrible person’ and told her she could not tell him what to do in his own home.
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.
The queen of unkindness
When remembering the Queen Mother, let us not overlook her cruelty – both to the ‘little people’ and her own family.
William Shawcross’s authorised biography of the late Queen Mother is ready – let the raising of the dead queen begin. On Sunday the papers rolled out the ghostly red carpet. They printed a letter from Elizabeth to her mother about the day that Buckingham Palace was bombed and she narrowly missed being splattered. (Sample line: “I was so pleased with the behaviour of our servants.”)
When most people look at pictures of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, they see the sweet, doddery grandmother-of-the-nation. But that wasn’t who she was.
She was not born royal – she was the daughter of a Scottish earl, a commoner, an outsider. According to her previous biographer Hugo Vickers, she had wanted to attract the Prince of Wales – later Edward VIII – but he brushed her off and she married his younger brother, George, instead. She would have lived a life of dogs, shooting and house parties (she never did learn to operate a pedestrian crossing) except that Edward fell for Wallis Simpson and abdicated, because he could not marry a divorcee – and so she became queen.