It was an acute flash of searing emotion from a prime minister who, by her own admission, rarely wears her heart on her sleeve.
A cracking of the voice and a tightening of the face as the stress and strain Theresa May has mostly kept captive for the last three years came gushing out.
A moment that surely cut to the core of even the most hardened of Westminster political animals.
One wonders how long Mrs May has had this speech ready.
She began by laying out her objectives in the job: to turn the UK into a country that works for everyone, and to deliver Brexit.
By anyone’s standards, she has failed on both counts.
Leaving the European Union has turned this administration into a zombie government, unable or unwilling to pass even the most uncontroversial of legislation.
Brexit is at a standstill and will likely go no further until a new prime minister is selected.
Compromise was a theme of the speech. But for this prime minister, her attempts at compromise came too late and when they did, only served to push people apart rather than bring them together.
She began her premiership by steering the country towards a cleaner break with the EU, declaring famously that “Brexit means Brexit”.
When that ran into the ground, an attempt at compromise with pro-EU elements of her own party and Labour inflamed an already febrile situation.
Of course, a new leader will not immediately solve that Brexit paralysis.
Mrs May said her successor will need to “find consensus” and that her party should be “decent, moderate and patriotic” – a sign perhaps that she believes the next prime minister will need to work with all MPs, rather than pander to Tory Brexiteers.
The Tory party’s almost certain crushing at the European elections at the hands of Nigel Farage may make that impossible.
Mrs May did point to some domestic achievements – saying the party is ending austerity, protecting the environment and investing in the NHS.
In the long run though, it will be hard to point to any totemic policy shifts that will be pinned to this prime minister.
Much of her domestic agenda, designed to turn the Tories into a party that once again spoke to the working classes, junked after the 2017 election disaster.
When Theresa May announced she was standing to be prime minister, she said she was “not a showy politician” and did not “gossip” or “tour the television studios” but would “get on with the job in front of me”.
That was meant as a positive, a pitch that Mrs May would rise above the tabloid tittle-tattle that so often dominates Westminster and focus on the detail.
In the end though, this straight-laced nature has contributed to her downfall.
A prime minister unable to make the emotional case for her Brexit deal. Unable to win people over to her way of thinking or bring them along with her political journey.
And in the end, a leader unable to lead.
History may be kinder to Theresa May than the headline writers of today. A hard working politician lacking in the fleet of foot empathetic firepower needed to deal with Brexit.
In many ways, this speech was emblematic of Mrs May’s premiership – rigid but dignified, lacking in emotion until it was too late.