LONDON -- The political theater, at least this act of it, is almost over in Britain.
CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips says everybody knows how the show ends; the main actor, Prime Minister David Cameron, is leaving the stage, and the building -- a victim of his own hubris.
But the show must go on.
The stage was Parliament and the weekly ritual of political theatrics known as Prime Minister's Questions was his final act on Wednesday. Normally it's a chance to ask the head of government about policy, but Cameron is no longer making policy, and in a few hours, he won't be the head of anything.
The House of Commons appearance was instead a platform for Prime Ministerial farewells.
Like others before him who have bid a farewell to the vaunted chamber, Cameron tried to make the best of it, first congratulating Scotland's Andy Murray on his Wimbledon tennis victory, and then making a joke at his own expense.
"Other than one meeting later today with the Queen, my diary for the rest of the day is considerably light," quipped the outgoing Prime Minister.
Moving vans have been rolling up to the back of Number 10 Downing Street since Tuesday, with workers packing up the Cameron family's stuff. He'll be gone by the end of Wednesday -- done in by his own spectacular misreading of the public mood, calling a referendum on European Union membership that he thought would go his way.
The new Prime Minister will move into Number 10. She's former senior cabinet minister Theresa May, who will be officially asked by the Queen to take the office. But that's just a formality. May won the job by default.
The other contenders had either stabbed each other in the back -- or the front -- or had fallen on their own swords.
May had actually argued for remaining in the EU. Now she says she'll try to get the best deal for Britain's departure. But she won't be doing anything quickly. An EU divorce has to be triggered by the country that's leaving, and May has said there's plenty to do before she actually pulls the trigger.
There's been a lot of talk in London of David Cameron's accomplishments in six years as Prime Minister. But he'll be remembered for one thing: The Prime Minister who gambled on a referendum he didn't have to hold, and lost -- with everything that means for the country, and for him.