THERESA MAY has officially taken over as the 75th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on another extraordinary day of British politics in Westminster.
Mrs May entered Downing Street shortly after her predecessor David Cameron made his last appearance at the despatch box at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
And the handover is quite appropriate, for this whole tumult was set in motion by Mr Cameron as long ago as January 2013.
It was back then that he vowed to hold a referendum on British membership of the European Union if the Conservatives got a majority in the General Election.
At the time, it was a political gamble aimed at keeping his backbenchers on side while stopping the drift of Tory voters towards UKIP.
But, when he made the announcement, a Conservative majority government actually did not look too likely.
Then, May 2015 happened.
Labour had collapsed to the Scottish Nationalists north of the border and the Liberal Democrats were utterly routed across the country generally, but particularly against the Conservatives in the south west.
Somehow, Mr Cameron had eked out a majority of 12 and so had to deliver on a promise which he did not think he would ever have to keep.
Unconvincing negotiations with fellow EU leaders followed - and, having played hardball and gained nothing but the most measly of compromises, Mr Cameron then awkwardly had to campaign to stay in.
Almost immediately, he unsurprisingly ran into trouble.
For, if it was not bad enough having the then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage leading the Leave campaign, the loss of support from his old friend Boris Johnson was perhaps an early blow from which the Remainers never recovered.
Mr Johnson, of course, had acted purely in self-interest, as proven by the overtures he had previously made towards the EU when he was London mayor.
But his overwhelming desire for job of Prime Minister outweighed everything else, and his ultimate personal failure - to which I will come - was stunning and oddly satisfying, given his hypocrisy.
Mr Johnson nevertheless played an important part for the Leave team, although both campaigns were surely among the most shoddily ever run by mainstream British politicians.
The Remain side - in a move labelled Project Fear by its opponents - seemed only to warn of the dire consequences of leaving the EU. None of its benefits was mentioned.
Meanwhile, the Leavers provided hardly any vision at all of what a post-Brexit Britain would look like - as would become apparent in the days ahead.
Indeed, much of the media coverage focused on what appeared to be a battle for the Conservative leadership between the incumbents Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne on one side and Mr Johnson and Michael Gove on the other.
Ultimately, as predicted, most people were left thorough confused or just totally disenchanted with the debate, and so understandably went with their gut feeling on 23 June.
That gut feeling was to leave the EU.
The margin of victory for the Leavers - by 52% to 48% or approximately 1.3m votes - was not exactly huge but the fact that it happened at all made it a truly momentous event in the history of Britain.
Mr Cameron, swayed by weakness to promise a vote in the first place, had suddenly never been weaker.
So, unsurprisingly on the morning of 24 June, he felt he had no other option but to resign as a failure, offering to stay on until October in a caretaker capacity.
And it was at this point that the real power games began.
Slowly but surely, the candidates for the Conservative leadership lined themselves up with the contest expected to be between Mrs May, a Remain supporter, and Mr Johnson.
Naturally, Mr Johnson had backed on receiving the support of his Leave colleague Mr Gove.
But on 30 June, just three hours before the nominations closed, Mr Gove announced his own candidacy having come to the conclusion that Mr Johnson could not "provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead”.
The Telegraph described the move by Mr Gove as "the most spectacular political assassination in a generation" - and it was indeed a deliciously premature end to the Johnson campaign before the contest had even properly begun.
Historically, a streak of ruthlessness seems to have been admired by the Conservatives.
Witness the ascent and the downfall of Margaret Thatcher or, more recently, the removal of Iain Duncan-Smith as leader even before he could fight a General Election.
However, Mr Gove had even been too brutal for a Tory - and, after Dr Liam Fox had been eliminated and outsider Stephen Crabb had withdrawn following the first ballot on 5 July, he was soundly beaten in the second vote on 7 July.
Mrs May unsurprisingly finished top, with the backing of 199 MPs - but second place went to a largely previously unheralded Leave campaigner Andrea Leadsom.
Mrs Leadsom picked up 84 votes, against Mr Gove's 46 - and so ensured that, by September, Britain would have its second female Prime Minister.
Except it has all happened rather more quicker than that. Mrs Leadsom, like Icarus before her, has already burned her wings having flown too close to the sun in her rapid ascent.
Rather than The Sun, though, it was instead a problem with the Times - with whom she had given an interview (£) which was published on 9 July.
In the interview, Mrs Leadsom made the highly controversial statement that she would be better placed to lead the country because she has children, whereas Mrs May does not.
Under pressure, she hurriedly denied the claim and ordered the newspaper to publish the full transcript. But the transcript duly followed and did not contradict anything which had been printed.
Subsequently, Mrs Leadsom demanded the Times release the audio of the interview - if anything, though, this further weakened her case, given the emphasis which she placed on her point.
And so, after a weekend of scrutiny - or abuse, according to Mrs Leadsom - the MP for South Northamptonshire officially ended her campaign on Monday.
Mrs May was in the clear.
Of course, the new PM does not exactly take over from a position of strength.
It became evident within hours that some of the promises which the Leave campaigners had made in the run-up to the vote were - and there is no other way of putting this - a pack of lies.
Within hours of winning the referendum on 24 June, Mr Farage - who, in the meantime, has stepped down from his position as UKIP leader for the umpteenth time - denied £350m per week would now be spent on the National Health Service.
Then, the next day, Conservative MEP and Leave campaigner Daniel Hannan suggested that there would not be a "radical decline" in immigration - all far removed from Mr Farage's poster.
No wonder then that Mrs May has entrusted two of the other three Great Offices of State in her new government to fellow Remain supporters.
Key ally Philip Hammond is the new Chancellor, in place of the sacked Mr Osborne, while Amber Rudd fills Mrs May's former job of Home Secretary.
But Mr Johnson - yes, him again - does not get away with leaving his post-Brexit mess entirely to others.
Ludicrously, he is the new Foreign Secretary, a role in which his fine-tuned diplomatic skills should come to the fore.
Finally, it is not all bad news in the May cabinet for Leave supporters. The appointment of strong Leave campaigner David Davis as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU confirms there is no going back on this historic decision.
Having reached enough online signatories, the petition for a second EU referendum will be debated in Parliament after the recess on 5 September.
Under Mrs May, though, there will not be one - and nor should there be. The decision has been made, for better or worse - and only a true masochist would want a repeat of those two campaigns again.
Instead, the new PM will see her task as one of somehow steering Britain through some of the rockiest waters in its post-war existence.
At least, though, she will consider that she is able to do so without any significant effective opposition in the Commons.
For, as the Conservatives slowly untangle themselves, Labour continues to engage in a civil war so fierce that it almost feels inevitable the party will split.
But all that is for another day and a different blog altogether.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP ELECTION
|Westminster seat||EU stance||First |
|Andrea LEADSOM||(South Northamptionshire)||Leave||66||84||withdrew|
|Michael GOVE||(Surrey Heath)||Leave||48||46||-|
|Stephen CRABB||(Preseli Pembrokeshire)||Remain||34||withdrew||-|
|Dr Liam FOX||(North Somerset)||Leave||16||-||-|
THERESA MAY'S CABINET
|Westminster seat||EU stance||Position|
|Theresa MAY||(Maidenhead)||Remain||Prime Minister|
|Philip HAMMOND||(Runnymede & Weybridge)||Remain||Chancellor of Exchequer|
|Boris JOHNSON||(Uxbridge & South Ruislip)||Leave||Foreign Secretary|
|Amber RUDD||(Hastings & Rye)||Remain||Home Secretary|
|Michael FALLON||(Sevenoaks)||Remain||Defence Secretary|
|David DAVIS||(Haltemprice & Howden)||Leave||Brexit Secretary|
|Dr Liam FOX||(North Somerset)||Leave||International Trade|