Élisabeth d'Ayen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameÉlisabeth Pauline Sabine Marie•de Noailles (-MacReady)
Used nameÉlisabeth•d'Ayen
Born27 October 1898 in Maintenon, Eure-et-Loir (FRA)
Died7 December 1969 in Paris XVe, Paris (FRA)
NOC France


Élisabeth d’Ayen competed in all three events at the 1920 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in women’s doubles alongside Suzanne Lenglen. D’Ayen played at Wimbledon in 1923 and the French Championships in 1925, reaching the third round of both events. She was the daughter of Adrien, Duke de Noailles, who competed in the 1900 Olympic equestrian events.

D’Ayen married Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Nevil Macready, 2nd Baronet KBE CB CMG DSO MC, a British Army officer who served as Assistant chief of the Imperial General Staff during World War II. Their son was Sir Nevil MacReady, 3rd Baronet, who was a war hero and later became managing director of Mobil Oil.

Her brother was Jean Maurice Paul Jules de Noailles, the Duc d’Ayen, who was a French clay pigeon shooting champion. During World War II, he was a resistance member who was arrested by the Gestapo on 22 January 1942, in Paris, following an anonymous tip. He was tortured and interned at 85 Avenue Foch (the Gestapo headquarters) in Paris, then at Compiègne. The Duc d’Ayen was deported to Buchenwald-Flossenburg, later transferred to Oranienburg and finally to Bergen-Belsen where he died or was killed the day before the camp was liberated. His son also died with him at Bergen-Belsen.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Tennis FRA Élisabeth d'Ayen
Singles, Women (Olympic) =5
Doubles, Mixed (Olympic) Pierre Hirsch =8
Doubles, Women (Olympic) Suzanne Lenglen 3 Bronze

Olympic family relations