Theresa May, who announced on Friday that she will resign as Tory leader on 7 June, will stay on as caretaker prime minister until a new leader is chosen, a process likely to take several weeks. Fighting back tears and with her voice breaking, the beleaguered PM admitted failure in her attempts to take the UK out of the European Union, although stressed that she's done her best to make it happen.
In light of her tearful announcement, here's a selection of several other UK prime ministers, who lived through the same experience, but handled it a bit differently.
David Cameron: Happily Humming
David Cameron, who served as prime minister from May 2010 to July 2016, was heard humming a merry tune as he walked back into No. 10 on 11 July — minutes after announcing that he would pass the keys to the residence to Theresa May.
Cameron, whose resignation speech was made in late June after the Brits voted to leave the EU, was apparently so pleased with his decision to leave all the Brexit mess to then-Home Secretary May that he forgot about the fact that the microphone was still on. The PM was singing to himself on the way to the door, and was heard saying "Right! Good!" before removing the mic that had recorded his very private moment.
Some speculated that the tune sounded like the theme from US TV drama The West Wing, ITV’s political editor, Robert Peston, suggested that it was a Winnie the Pooh-style ditty, while others assumed it might be "Air" by Bach.
Tony Blair: All Smiles
After serving as the UK's prime minister for over a decade, Tony Blair, whose popularity drastically dropped, with a dark cloud in the shape of the Iraq War hovering over his last three years in office, announced his intention to stand down as both the Labour Party leader and prime minister on 10 May 2007.
While admitting that it was a difficult decision to make, he was all smiles and kept cracking jokes to rounds of applause.
Margaret Thatcher: Tears in the Backseat
Margaret Thatcher, the UK's first female prime minister, who held office for over eleven years, resigned in November 1990 after she was ousted as Tory leader.
Even though she handled her resignation speech with dignity, the Iron Lady was visibly upset and had her "tears in the backseat" — probably one of the most iconic photographs in the history of world politics captured her with eyes filled with tears as she hunched forward in the car for one last look at No. 10.
28th November 1990: After serving as PM for eleven years, and suffering a series of political challenges from within the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher resigns and leaves Downing Street in tears #ThisDayInHistory 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/Q8PGAQ0JBG— Mr. Singh (@Chindiazindabad) 28 ноября 2018 г.
John Major: Put Up or Shut Up
In June 1995, John Major, who replaced Thatcher, announced he would step down as leader of the Conservative Party, though not as prime minister.
The decision was provoked by rumours of a leadership challenge and questions raised on the backbenches over his ability to unite the party effectively. While delivering his speech, Major, who looked unbelievably non-chalant, came up with his own bold challenge to party opponents: "put up or shut up".