‘Head of Queen’s Scottish family’ leaves £40m in will

Glamis Castle in Angus

was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, best known as the Queen Mother. Her daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL
Glamis Castle in Angus was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, best known as the Queen Mother. Her daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL
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A colourful aristocrat, who was known as the head of the Queen’s Scottish family, has left a £40 million fortune in his will.

Lord Strathmore, the Queen’s first cousin once removed, died aged 58 in 
February last year following a long battle with cancer.

The 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Michael 
Fergus Bowes-Lyon, 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.

The earl’s recently published will has revealed he had a 
fortune valued at £39,388,550 at the time of his death.

His wealth included his £14m share of the Glamis estate and the £20m Holwick estate in County Durham.

He also had a large and 
varied £143,000 motor vehicle collection which included Land Rovers, quads, a Bentley, 
articulated lorries and a 
Dennis fire engine.

The peer’s other assets included the household contents of Glamis Castle which were valued at £82,625, around £60,000 held in accounts with the Queen’s bank Coutts and a £1m share in a wind farm 
company based in Lanarkshire.

He instructed that his estate should be left to his widow Karen and his children.

A one-time Conservative whip in the House of Lords, Lord Strathmore was known to his friends as Mikey.

In 1984, he married captain’s
daughter Isobel Weatherall.
They went on to have three children, Simon “Sam” Patrick Bowes-Lyon, 30, who succeeded him as the 19th earl, John “Jock” Fergus Bowes-Lyon and George “Geordie” 
Norman Bowes-Lyon.

However, after 20 years, the marriage broke down, 
leading to a bitter divorce 
battle.

The earl developed a problem with alcohol and in 2004 was discovered with three call girls from The Pleasure
Zone massage parlour in 
Darlington at Holwick 
Lodge, his second stately home.

After the revelations about his sex life, he expressed his regret, saying that the event had happened during “an 
extremely difficult phase” in 
his life.