Stephen Hawking funeral sees hundreds line streets to farewell British physicist

02 April, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Stephen Hawking funeral to take place in Cambridge

On Saturday (31.03.18), hundreds of fans lined the streets of Cambridge to watch the funeral precession for the late scientist, as he was taken to the Church of St. Mary the Great for a formal ceremony.

The 59-year-old TV presenter wrote: "Sending deepest condolences to the Hawking family today for Stephen's funeral". Although the funeral service was private, the crowds remained respectfully silent outside University Church Great St. Mary but applauded when his casket arrived and was carried into the church.

Hollywood actor Eddie Redmayne, who won a Golden Globe for playing Hawking in the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, was one of many mourners who gave a speech at the funeral.

Also present was actress Felicity Jones, who co-starred with Redmayne as Hawking's wife Jane, as well as Queen's Brian May, model Lily Cole, and Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain.

The church bell tolled 76 times, once for each year of his life.

He was given just few years to live but Hawking went ahead to emerge as one of the most popular scientists of recent times.

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Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, a personal friend, read from Plato's Apology 40, The Death of Socrates, which talks of the search for knowledge persisting after death.

The British cosmologist had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his 20s and spent much of his life in a wheelchair.

White lilies representing the universe and white roses for the polar star were placed on Hawking's oak coffin.

His close family, including his three children Lucy, Robert and Tim, followed behind the hearse carrying the professor's coffin.

Hawking's coffin will be carried by six porters from the college, all in traditional uniform including bowler hats. It was said to be his children who chose the church as the venue for the service. A private reception was being held later at Trinity College.

Hawking's ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey, next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton, in June, following a service of thanksgiving.

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