Where did the baby name Dreux come from in 1956?

The wedding of Henry and Marie-Thérèse in Dreux, France, in 1957.
Henri & Marie-Thérèse

What drew people to the baby name Dreux in 1956?

  • 1958: 9 baby boys named Dreux
  • 1957: 6 baby boys named Dreux
  • 1956: 9 baby boys named Dreux [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’ve got a decent theory.

Let’s start with Grace Kelly. In April of 1956, she was married to Prince Rainier in a lavish wedding that got worldwide press coverage.

Later the same year, in November, two engagements were announced:

  • Prince Henri of Orleans, to Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg, and
  • Princess Hélène of Orleans, to Count Evrard of Limbourg-Styrum.

Henri and Hélène were the 2nd and 3rd children of the Count of Paris, claimant to the long-gone throne of France. Henri, importantly, was the eldest son.

Newspapers claimed Henri’s upcoming marriage would be “THE Wedding of 1957,” and “[t]he most important marriage to be celebrated in France since Napoleon III wed Princess Eugenie.” They said that “as far as European royalty is concerned it will make that Rainier-Kelly wedding in Monaco last spring look like a musical comedy.”

And all the announcements were sure to mention that both couples would marry in the royal chapel in the town of Dreux, located in north-central France.

Hélène and Evrard wed in January:

Henri and Duchess Marie-Thérèse wed in July:

My only reservation regarding this theory is that place names highlighted in the news don’t typically turn into baby names. That said…Dreux in an American accent sounds a lot like Drew, the nickname for Andrew, so perhaps that’s the key here.

What are your thoughts on Dreux as a baby name? (Do you have any alternate theories about where this one might have come from?)


  • “France Preparing for Royal Wedding Early Next Summer.” Bend Bulletin [Bend, Oregon] 22 Nov. 1956: 13.
  • “Royalty All Set for THE Wedding of 1957.” Indiana Evening Gazette [Indiana, Pennsylvania] 23 Nov. 1956: 12.
  • Henri d’Orléans (1908-1999) – Wikipédia

Image: © 1957 Life

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