It was hard not to feel some degree of sympathy for Theresa May as she drove through the gates of Buckingham Palace yesterday to offer her resignation as prime minister to Queen Elizabeth.
She had, after all, been passed a poisoned chalice by her predecessor David Cameron; the pity of it is that she drank from it copiously throughout her abridged premiership. Her failure to surround herself with trusted cabinet members, relying instead on inept advisers, along with her inability to persuade parliament to accept a deal she had negotiated, left her politically adrift in London and ineffective in Brussels.
Those lessons will not be lost on Boris Johnson as he, too swept through the gates of Buckingham Palace to be formally offered the premiership.
Indeed, even before his summons to the palace to form a government following his resounding victory in the Tory leadership race, Mr Johnson was beginning to shape his top team, ensuring that hardline Brexiteers would form the backbone of his cabinet.
That is hardly surprising, as, despite his jokey bombast, Mr Johnson is a shrewd and clever man, succeeding, against the odds, in being elected mayor of London twice and now, against even greater odds, getting the keys to No 10.
He now has to show both to friend and foe alike that he can go from showman to statesman.