Thousands of people lined the streets of Cambridge today to witness the funeral of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.
A service was held in Great St Mary’s Church, which is part of Cambridge University. Many of those gathered applauded as his coffin was carried into the church.
Situated in heart of the city, the 13th century church is just metres away from Gonville & Caius, where Professor Hawking was a fellow for more than 50 years.
It is also close to Trinity Hall, where Hawking studied for his PhD in cosmology from 1962 to 1965, which he titled ‘Properties of Expanding Universes’.
The famed theoretical physicist passed away peacefully at home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, March 14 at the age of 76.
He leaves behind three children and three grandchildren.
Sons Robert and Tim and daughter Lucy said the service would be held in Cambridge because it was “the city that he loved so much”.
Guests at the funeral were greeted by senior clerics and the service was expected to follow the traditions of the Church of England.
Gonville & Caius has created an online condolence book for people to leave messages.
Thousands of people have already signed a physical book of condolence, which has been at the college since Professor Hawking’s death.
It has also been revealed that a service of thanksgiving for the professor’s life will be held at Westminster Abbey on Friday June 15.
Professor Hawking’s ashes will be interred in the Abbey near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.
Hawking biopic Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne joined mourners at the funeral.
Queen guitarist Brian May, who has a PhD in astrophysics was also among five hundred invited friends, colleagues and family who attended the private funeral, as thousands lined the streets to pay their respects to the physicist.