Benedict Cumberbatch, Nile Rodgers, and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Nick Mason were among guests at a celebratory service for the late Stephen Hawking Friday.
Stars of science and showbiz were pictured arriving at London’s Westminster Abbey ahead of the ceremony, with the service including readings from Cumberbatch (who played Hawking in the BBC’s “Hawking”) and astronaut Tim Peake.
Hawking’s ashes will be buried at the Abbey alongside other scientists, including Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.
Guests at the ceremony included 1,000 members of the public, with a ballot attracting 25,000 applications for tickets from people all over the world.
Hawking’s voice is set to be beamed into space toward the nearest black hole as part of the service.
His daughter Lucy, who also gave a reading, confirmed the late scientist’s words had been set to an original piece of music, composed by Vangelis.
Lucy said in a statement that the music was a “beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father’s presence on this planet, his wish to go into space, and his explorations of the universe in his mind.”
She added of the space broadcast: “It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”
Hawking died on March 14, 2018, aged 76 after a long battle with motor neurone disease.