There were a few tearful politicians witnessing John Key's last walk down the old majestic steps of Parliament buildings, the only thing missing was the clarion call of the trumpets that usually ring out at Parliament's opening from the balcony above, such was the enthusiasm of the occasion.
It was difficult to be sure, though, whether the tears flowed from fear of job security, and some of them now have good reason for being fearful, or from a genuine emotional farewell to the leader who, like no other in recent times, put the National Party on a secure footing.
On reaching the bottom of the stairs to the waiting limo, Bronagh and John Key embraced Mary and Bill English and they were whisked off to Government House, one to resign the the other to be sworn in as Prime Minister.
Standing, taking it all in and talking to the youngest male of the English brood, and there are a dozen of them, Connor English looked at his big brother and exclaimed with affection that he was now comfortable in his own skin, and it's hard to argue with that.
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Earlier, English presided over a rambling media conference, just after being endorsed as the National leader.
Like Key before him, he was relaxed taking questions for almost 40 minutes, giving lie to the contention that everything you always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask.
He was asked everything from his view on euthanasia and abortion, as if we didn't already know, to which way he preferred his toilet paper to be hung in the bathroom.
Okay he wasn't asked about the toilet paper, but given the way our politicians seem willing to answer virtually anything about nothing, that'll no doubt be a question in reserve for a later date.
But he was asked about the possibility of Key getting a knighthood, that he's not so quietly coveted for some time, and his dry sense of humour became slapstick, laughing that it's not as though the former Prime Minister's never asked!
And if a gong's that important to Key, it was never going to be easy awarding one to himself, and the risk of losing it if Labour pulled it off next year, then maybe it wasn't a gamble he was prepared to take.
So, like they say, timing is everything and it now won't be too long before he's up at Government House again, this time down on one knee.