Gun salutes across the UK, a “sizzle reel” of highlights from the day and a message from the Archbishop of Canterbury - Buckingham Palace was determined not to allow the first anniversary of the King’s coronation on Monday to proceed without fanfare.

In Edinburgh today another coronation took place, though it was not billed as such. But what else should it be called? Like the monarchy, the new leader of the SNP, and therefore the new First Minister of Scotland, has been installed unopposed.

As it turned out there was a last-minute challenger, a party activist, but he withdrew after a “lengthy and fruitful conversation” with Mr Swinney. It is a measure of the times Mr Swinney finds himself in that his first task, before even becoming leader, was to enter into negotiations with a potential rival. As the leader of a minority government he will be doing a lot of that.

Hiccup solved, Mr Swinney was declared SNP leader on Monday in a ceremony in Glasgow that had as much fizz as a two-day-old glass of Irn-Bru. Much thought had obviously gone into making the event as low-key as possible. This was the new, slightly more humble SNP showing its face, a party getting back to normal after the upheaval of the past fortnight.

Every new beginning needs a repenting sinner, so step forward Mr Swinney with a plea to make politics nice again. There would be no more “shouting at people” said the man who has functioned as the Scottish Parliament’s BOGOF Statler and Waldorf. From here on it was all about reaching out and joining forces, behaving respectfully towards each other.

There were more warm words when the action moved to Holyrood for the selection of the First Minister. Earlier, outgoing First Minister Humza Yousaf had to tender his resignation to the King (Charles, not John). In his speech to parliament, Mr Yousaf spoke of what an honour it had been to serve. At 39 he is still young enough for one of those comebacks that are now in vogue.

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He has bounced back well from his self-inflicted humiliation. A ministerial exit payment, final amount yet to be disclosed, and a hefty pension no doubt helped. He looked rejuvenated, all worries lifted from his shoulders and transferred to John Swinney’s.

It has taken quite some doing, but Mr Yousaf has managed to leave frontline politics in a worse state than he found it.

For a while there he had given Scots that most precious of commodities, hope. Not intentionally, but some good might have come out of the chaos he caused. The best way forward would have been to call an early election. That was never going to happen: Christmas, vote, turkeys, etc.

Failing that, some change was in order, as allowed for in the parliamentary rules. Not a new start, only an election would do that, but a refresh. And the best way to ensure that was to have a contest of ideas and personalities. Yet it was not to be.

Instead, it is out with the old First Minister, and in with an even older one. An older one, moreover, who has led his party before with little if any distinction. One who just over a year ago left government after a long stint as deputy First Minister. A backer of Mr Yousaf for the leadership no less. It would be hard to imagine anyone, save Nicola Sturgeon, who has been as in with the bricks in recent years as Mr Swinney.

I will admit to groaning inwardly on seeing that he was going for the leadership and would win it unopposed. Like Sir John Curtice, I too remember when Mr Swinney was SNP leader first time, and he wasn’t really that good at it.

As Kate Forbes might have put it given half a chance, when he was party leader before he lost elections, when he was education secretary he sent standards into a nose-dive, and when he was deputy First Minister he went along with every failed initiative presented to him. What makes him think he could do a better job this time?

Ah, but he is not the same John Swinney of 20 years ago, he says. He has acknowledged being physically and mentally exhausted when he left government after Ms Sturgeon quit, and that was why, along with other factors, he did not stand for the leadership then. Now, as he told The Herald’s Andrew Learmonth, he is rested and “ready for what lies ahead”.

That is a huge change in what is a relatively short time. Good on Mr Swinney if he is back to peak fitness and raring to go. But is he certain he wants to return to this particular fray at this time? We know what he offers his party, a calm head in fraught times, but what is there for the majority of Scots? Where are the new ideas, the fresh thinking, and will it be allowed to flourish? Without them Holyrood in the next two years will make the current zombie parliament at Westminster look a hive of activity.

Mr Swinney has spoken recently of not wanting to have regrets in life, of facing the dreaded “if onlys” and “what ifs”. For many men in his age band, the response is to buy a mountain of Lycra and a bike and head for new places. Almost any activity would be less fraught than becoming First Minister of Scotland in 2024. Has he considered herding cats?

It is too late for Mr Swinney to be having a mid-life wobble and too early for him to retire. That, respectfully, as we say in the new polite politics, is his problem.

We will have a better idea where Mr Swinney is heading, and why, when he announces his full cabinet. As someone tipped to be in that cabinet once said, more of the same is not a manifesto, it is an acceptance of mediocrity. Scotland can do better. On that, at least, we can all agree.