Funeral for renowned physicist Stephen Hawking takes place in Cambridge

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Over 500 people were invited to the funeral service at University Church of St Mary the Great in Cambridge and the church is said to have been packed with those wishing to pay their respects to the famous physicist. Born in the English university town of Oxford in 1942, and a less-than-stellar student at first, Hawking was just 21 when he was diagnosed with ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease - and told he had just a few years to live.

Today Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking, took another leading role, with a reading from Ecclesiastes, closing with the line: "I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men. he has..."

Other celebs in attendance included Elon Musk, Cinderella's Lily Cole, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, playwright Alan Bennett, and comedian Dara O Brian.

Last Saturday, crowds lined the streets of Cambridge for the funeral service of world renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

The church bell tolled 76 times, once for each year of Hawking's life, as the solid oak coffin adorned with floral tributes arrived in a hearse. Two bouquets of flowers were placed on the casket, one of white lilies to symbolize the universe, and one of white roses, which represented the polar star.

The service was officiated by the Reverend Dr Cally Hammond, Dean of Gonville and Caius College.

Hawking was famously an atheist but his children Lucy, Robert and Tim chose the church of St Mary the Great to say their farewell.

Hawking will be remembered in London later this year when his ashes are interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey.

His work focused on bringing together relativity - the nature of space and time - and quantum theory - how the smallest particles behave - to explain the creation of the universe and how it is governed.

Robert Hawking, Hawking's eldest child, delivered a eulogy at the service.

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