Apart from the task of executing Brexit, May must try to unite a divided party and a nation in which many, on the evidence of the referendum, feel angry with the political elite and left behind by the forces of globalization. "For many of them, it was a howl of pain".
This can be seen right now in what is going on in Britain.
The larger question is what relationship the United Kingdom will have with the European Union once it has pulled out. This has already been evident with rates decreasing following the Brexit vote. She was a lightweight who would never normally be seen as a potential prime minister, and her views were so extreme - marriage should only be for Christians, not gays; bring back fox-hunting - that she probably could not win a general election.
The same uncertainty is felt at universities that have relied on a steady influx of students from European Union countries to help balance the financial books, and at cultural institutions that have depended on European Union funding to help pay for exhibits and performances.
Of course, it all goes back to David Cameron.
"When we take the big calls we'll think not of the powerful but you, when we pass new laws we'll listen not to the mighty but to you, when it comes to taxes we'll prioritise not the wealthy but you". He could not. After a "remain" campaign that was widely criticized as lackluster, the "leave" vote triumphed.
And the fact that the British leadership change is happening quickly and calmly, after colorful figures such as Johnson bowed out early on, mean that the two countries can get down to business without delay. Theresa May will become Britain's new Minister on Wednesday. As such, she hasn't often addressed a range of key issues between the two countries, including defense, trade and diplomacy, that aren't part of her current responsibilities. The challenge claims that only Parliament can initiate Britain's withdrawal from the EU.
Before joining parliament he worked at Chase Manhattan Bank in NY and then at Deutsche Bank, where he focused on helping raise investment in developing countries. First, names would be nominated for the position.
German Chancellor Merkel will be May's most important counterpart on the continent as the process unfolds.
Banks and other financial firms employ more than 2 million people across Britain. The total membership of the Conservative Party is around 150,000, and there are rules in place to stop new members from being eligible to vote in leadership contests.
And that includes with the three high profile Brexit campaigners all of whom had eyes on number 10. One was then eliminated and another dropped out.
In the previous round of balloting, May took 199 of the votes of her fellow MPs, while Leadsom came in second with only 84. Britain geared up for a summer of more political campaigning.
She presented herself as the candidate of unity and experience who will "make a success" of Brexit.
That is when Ms May will start to announce a handful of senior posts, from Wednesday evening through to the rest on Thursday.
May isn't unelected, per se.
May worked in finance, including at the Bank of England, before being elected as MP for the London commuter town of Maidenhead in 1997.
The thing is, everyone knows that's not how it works in practice. As she put it, the referendum was not just a vote against the European Union but also "a vote for serious change". In the recent referendum, 17,410,742 voted to leave the E.U. Some polls had suggested that May would be neck and neck with Leadsom in September's leadership vote.
"It will require somebody that has an ability to hold lots of information, who can be on point, somebody who's got a quick mind, an iron will, a certain charm when they're negotiating", Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, told reporters in Westminster. The opposition Labour Party now has its own leadership woes.
Corbyn has clung to his job, citing support from the party grassroots members, and the 116-year-old party is now locked in a bitter power tussle that risks destroying it. Since the vote, she has made clear that "Brexit means Brexit".