The funeral of Professor Stephen Hawking will be held at a church near the Cambridge University college that was his academic home for more than 50 years.
Renowned British physicist Prof Hawking died peacefully at his Cambridge home on March 14th at the age of 76.
The cosmologist had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his 20s.
Today's private funeral service at the University Church of St Mary the Great will be attended by family, invited friends and colleagues.
- Press Association and Digital Desk
The church, which can seat up to 1,200 people, is near to Gonville and Caius College, where Prof Hawking was a fellow for 52 years.
Friends, family and colleagues of Stephen Hawking will gather to pay their respects at a private funeral in Cambridge, where he spent most of his extraordinary life https://t.co/AVATJNfeiu pic.twitter.com/Eg7oR1oDvo— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 31, 2018
Prof Hawking's coffin will be carried by six porters from the college, all in traditional uniform including bowler hats.
Many porters at the college knew Prof Hawking and provided support when he visited for dinners and other events, and they were asked by his family to be pallbearers.
Head porter Russ Holmes will walk ahead of the coffin as it is carried into the church.
He will wear his formal college uniform of top hat and tails, and carry a silver-topped ebony cane of office.
In a statement, Prof Hawking's children Lucy, Robert and Tim said: "On behalf of our whole family we want to express our huge gratitude to all the wonderful tributes to our father and to those who have sent us messages of condolence.
"Our father lived and worked in Cambridge for over 50 years.
"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.
"We would like to thank Gonville and Caius College, the University of Cambridge and Trinity College, Cambridge for their assistance with our father's funeral service."
Prof Hawking's ashes will be interred close to the remains of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey on June 15.
A book of condolence for Prof Hawking remains open at Gonville and Caius College, and an online book has also been set up.