The funeral procession makes it's way through the crowds to the Church of St Mary the Great, in Cambridge for the funeral of British scientist Stephen Hawking on March 31, 2018.
Friends, family and colleagues of British scientist Stephen Hawking gathered to pay their respects at his private funeral in Cambridge, where he spent most of his extraordinary life. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
The funeral procession makes it's way through the crowds to the Church of St Mary the Great, in Cambridge for the funeral of British scientist Stephen Hawking on March 31, 2018. Friends, family and colleagues of British scientist Stephen Hawking gathered to pay their respects at his private funeral in Cambridge, where he spent most of his extraordinary life. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

London : The funeral of legendary British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was held on Saturday in a private ceremony attended by around 500 people comprising family, friends and colleagues, at a church near the Cambridge University college that was his academic home for more than 50 years. One of the world’s best known scientists and author of ‘A Brief History of Time’ died peacefully at his Cambridge home on March 14 at the age of 76.

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

 British actor Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the world-famous theoretical physicist, was among the main speakers at the ceremony.

 The private funeral service at the University Church of St Mary the Great near Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University was chosen by Professor Hawking’s children. Lucy, Robert and Tim Hawking said they chose to hold the funeral in Cambridge in recognition that it is the city their father “loved so much and which loved him”.

 “Our father’s life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious. So, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life,” they said in a statement.

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