I know because we are Great Britain that we will rise to the challenge.
Speaking as she arrived at the prime minister's office at 10 Downing St., May, 59, who had served for six years as home secretary, sought to position herself firmly in the tradition of "one nation" Conservatism, stressing her commitment to helping the underprivileged and pledging to fight "burning injustice".
Then came Wednesday's ceremonial choreography: Two trips to Buckingham Palace and two audiences with Queen Elizabeth II that ended with one prime minister out of a job and a new one curtseying to the monarch to begin her term.
"The Prime Minister explained that we would need some time to prepare for these negotiations and spoke about her hopes that these could be conducted in a constructive and positive spirit", added the spokesperson.
In a speech on Monday, she said she was "honored and humbled" to be chosen as the next PM and that her campaign had always been about the need for strong leadership in "what is sure to be hard and uncertain economic and political times".
In his phone conversation with May, French President Francois Hollande urged her not to delay the divorce discussions with Europe.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also urged May not to prolong the start of the Brexit talks.
"The outcome of the United Kingdom's referendum has created a new situation which the United Kingdom and the European Union will have to address soon", Juncker said in a letter published on his Twitter account.
"Leadership issue settled, now I expect we work quickly to deliver certainty", he said.
Nigel Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader, praised the "inspired choices" and said he was now "more optimistic" that the vote to leave the European Union would be followed through. "We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives", she said.
"It's our task to work very closely with governments of ally countries", Merkel told a news conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, adding there were many problems in the world that made such close cooperation necessary.
"I look forward to working together", she said.
Prominent conservatives who campaigned to get Britain out of the European Union were given the task of seeing the job through, starting with former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was named foreign secretary, in the day's most surprising move.
The White House is pushing back on suggestions that her selection of Boris Johnson as foreign minister will be problematic for the U.S. Johnson had previously described Obama as a "part-Kenyan" who had an "ancestral dislike of the British empire".
"In David Cameron I follow in the footsteps of a great modern Prime Minister".
She also stressed that the full name of the Conservative party was the Conservative and Unionist party, and she would safeguard the union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - as Scotland threatens to break away after the vote to leave the EU.
David Cameron, who served as PM since 2010, stepped down after calling for a referendum on whether or not the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union. Fox, another prominent Euroskeptic, will be secretary of state for global trade.