The brilliant scientist Professor Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 on March 14, and now his funeral date has been announced. The visionary professor at Cambridge will receive his official send-off at the university church Great St. Mary's at 14:00 BST. Hawking's funeral coincides with the Catholic Holy day Saturday, March 31.
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The private ceremony is expected to host up to 500 family, friends and colleagues including Eddie Redmayne who played Hawking in the 2014 film Theory of Everything. Reverend Dr. Cally Hammond, Dean of Gonville and Caius College, will preside over the service. The church bell will toll 76 times for Professor Hawking, once for each year of his life when the funeral procession begins.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/e3cbdfb3bffc9300d560ac1acb659657c5579224d9946117539af669677c4e7a.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Liam Daniel</span>
The beloved professor's ashes are set to be laid to rest alongside the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey in June. The funeral is a private ceremony but onlookers and well-wishers have gathered at the center of Cambridge to catch a glimpse of the proceedings.
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The coffin will be decorated with an arrangement of white lilies to represent the universe, and white roses to represent the polar star. Six porters, who were asked to be pallbearers by the family, will then carry his coffin from Gonville and Caius College to Cambridge. These same porters were often aides to Hawkings during his visits.
The university did warn there could be congested traffic during the funeral as the procession travels from the professor's home to King's Parade near Great St. Mary's Church. A book where the public can write condolences will be available in the porter's lodge at Gonville and Caius College.
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