Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai

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Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai
Edelsheim-Gyulai Ilona c. 1940.jpg
Born (1918-01-14)14 January 1918
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died 18 April 2013(2013-04-18) (aged 95)
Lewes, England
Spouse(s) István Horthy (1940–1942)
John Bowden (1954–2002)
Children István, Jr.
Parent(s) Lipót Edelsheim-Gyulai
Gabriella Pejacsevich

Countess Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai de Marosnémethi et Nádaska (14 January 1918 – 18 April 2013)[1][2] was a Hungarian noblewoman and wife of István Horthy, son of Regent Miklós Horthy and Deputy Regent of Hungary for a short time in 1942.


She was born in Budapest, the third daughter of Count Lipót Edelsheim-Gyulai and Gabriella Pejacsevich (Croatian: Gabriela Pejačević). She spent her childhood in Felsőelefánt (today: Horné Lefantovce, Slovakia), the family's estate in Upper Hungary. She married István Horthy in April 1940. Their only son, István Horthy, Jr. was born in 1941. Her husband died in an unexplained airplane crash over the Eastern Front in August 1942. In 1954 she married Colonel John Wallace Guy Bowden of the Queen's Own Hussars; during the early 1960s they lived in Baghdad, where Bowden was a British military attaché, and in the 1980s they moved to Portugal. Bowden died in 2002.

She worked as a nurse for the Red Cross during the Second World War. She also had a role in rescuing Jews. After the unsuccessful desertion attempts and Operation Panzerfaust, she emigrated with her father-in-law, the Regent. She wrote her memoir with the title of Becsület és kötelesség ("Honor and Duty"). She lived in the United Kingdom until her death at Lewes, aged 95.


  1. ^ Elhunyt Horthy Istvánné (in Hungarian)
  2. ^ "Obituary: Countess Ilona Edelsheim Gyulai". Daily Telegraph. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-05-06.