THE Queen’s cousin has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home in Angus.

Simon Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore, forced his way into the sleeping woman's room during a weekend event he was hosting at Glamis Castle.

He repeatedly assaulted the 26-year-old victim and tried to pull off her nightdress during the 20-minute attack.

The royal - known as Sam - is said to have tried to pull up her nightdress, and pushed her up against a wall and groped her, telling her he wanted to have an affair.

Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion said the woman was asleep and was woken by knocking at the door at around 1.20am.

She said Bowes-Lyon 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.”

Mannion said Bowes-Lyon then pushed his victim up against a wall and groped her and grabbed her.

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.

The woman fled the castle in the morning, reporting the matter to police.

Bowes-Lyon has been placed on the sex offenders register. He was granted bail at Dundee Sheriff Court and sentence was deferred. He could face up to five years in jail.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael also ordered Glamis Castle be assessed for its suitability to house Bowes-Lyon while under a tagging order.

Outside court, Bowes-Lyon said he was "greatly ashamed" of his actions.

He added: "Clearly I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident. 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.

"My apologies go, above all, to the woman concerned, but I would also like to apologise to family, friends and colleagues for the distress I have caused them."

Glamis Castle, near Forfar, has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family since 1372.

It was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.

It's not the first time Bowes-Lyon has been in trouble with the law. Last year he breached strict Covid rules to travel 200 miles to Holwick Lodge, Middleton-in-Teesdale.

He 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.