In Depth

How to enter the ballot for Stephen Hawking’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey

Physicist’s children offering 1,000 free tickets to Service of Thanksgiving to members of the public

Admirers of Stephen Hawking can enter a ballot for a chance to pay their respects in person at a memorial service in his honour at Westminster Abbey next month.

The physicist and author of pop science bestseller A Brief History of Time died at the age of 76 on 14 March and was cremated at a private funeral ceremony in Cambridge on 31 March.

On 15 June, his ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey, between the graves of fellow scientific luminaries Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, at a ceremony in celebration of his life and career.

Hawking’s three children have announced that 1,000 tickets to the service of thanksgiving are to be made available to the public through random ballot.

You can enter by filling in a form on the Stephen Hawking Internment website. The ballot will close at midnight on 15 May.

“We are so grateful to Westminster Abbey for offering us the privilege of a service of thanksgiving for the extraordinary life of our father and for giving him such a distinguished final resting place,” his daughter, Lucy Hawking, said.

“We are also very pleased to be able to offer tickets to the public so that our father's many admirers will have the chance to join in the service.”

Those who miss out on tickets will still get a chance to pay their respects: Westminster Abbey will open its doors to the public free of charge following the service to allow admirers to visit Hawking’s grave.

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