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Gustaf V of Sweden

Gustaf V was King of Sweden from 1907 until his death in 1950. He was the eldest son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Sophia of Nassau, a half-sister of Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Reigning from the death of his father Oscar II in 1907 until his own death 43 years he holds the record of being the oldest monarch of Sweden and the third-longest reigning after Magnus IV and Carl XVI Gustaf, he was the last Swedish monarch to exercise his royal prerogatives, which died with him, although formally abolished only with the remaking of the Swedish constitution in 1974. He was the first Swedish king since the High Middle Ages not to have a coronation and hence never wore a crown, a tradition continuing to date. Gustaf's early reign saw the rise of parliamentary rule in Sweden, although the leadup to World War I pre-empted his overthrow of Liberal Prime Minister Karl Staaff in 1914, replacing him with his own figurehead Hjalmar Hammarskjöld for most of the war. However, after the Liberals and Social Democrats secured a parliamentary majority under Staaff's successor, Nils Edén, he allowed Edén to form a new government which de facto stripped the monarchy of all virtual powers and enacted universal and equal suffrage, including for women, by 1919.

Bowing to the principles of parliamentary democracy, he remained a popular figurehead for the remaining 31 years of his rule, although not without influence – during World War II he urged Per Albin Hansson's coalition government to accept requests from Nazi Germany for logistics support, refusing which might have provoked an invasion. This remains controversial to date, although he is not known to have shown much support for fascism or radical nationalism. Following his death at age 92, he was implicated in a homosexual affair in the Haijby affair, his alleged lover Kurt Haijby was imprisoned in 1952 for blackmail of the court in the 1930s. An avid hunter and sportsman, he presided over the 1912 Olympic Games and chaired the Swedish Association of Sports from 1897 to 1907. Most notably, he represented Sweden as a competitive tennis player, keeping up competitive tennis until his 80s, when his eyesight deteriorated rapidly, he was succeeded by his son, Gustaf VI Adolf. Gustaf V was born in Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö, Stockholm County, the son of Prince Oscar and Princess Sofia of Nassau.

At birth Gustaf was created Duke of Värmland. Upon his father's accession to the throne in 1872, Gustaf became crown prince of both Sweden and Norway. On 8 December 1907, he succeeded his father on the Swedish throne, separated from the Norwegian throne two years earlier. On 20 September 1881 he married Princess Victoria of Baden in Germany, she was the granddaughter of Sophie, Grand Duchess of Baden, the daughter of deposed Gustav IV Adolf of Vasa Dynasty. Victoria's marriage to Gustaf V united the reigning Bernadotte dynasty with the former royal house of Holstein-Gottorp, thus was popular throughout Sweden; when he ascended the throne, Gustaf V was, at least on paper, a near-autocrat. The 1809 Instrument of Government made the king both head of state and head of government, ministers were responsible to him. However, his father had been forced to accept a government chosen by the majority in Parliament in 1905. Since prime ministers had been chosen according to parliamentary support. At first, Gustaf V seemed to be willing to accept parliamentary rule.

After the Liberals won a massive landslide in 1911, Gustaf appointed Liberal leader Karl Staaff as Prime Minister. However, during the runup to World War I, the elites objected to Staaff's defence policy. In February 1914, a large crowd of farmers gathered at the royal palace and demanded that the country's defences be strengthened. In his reply, the so-called Courtyard Speech—which was written by explorer Sven Hedin, an ardent conservative—Gustaf promised to strengthen the country's defences. Staaff was outraged, telling the king parliamentary rule called for the Crown to stay out of partisan politics, he was angered that he had not been consulted in advance of the speech. However, Gustaf retorted that he still had the right to "communicate with the Swedish people." The Staaff government resigned in protest, Gustaf appointed a government of civil servants headed by Hjalmar Hammarskjöld in its place. The 1917 elections showed a heavy gain for Social Democrats. Despite this, Gustaf tried to appoint a Conservative government headed by Johan Widén.

However, Widén was unable to attract enough support for a coalition. It was now apparent that Gustaf could no longer appoint a government of his own choosing, nor could he keep a government in office against the will of Parliament. With no choice but to appoint a Liberal as prime minister, he appointed a Liberal-Social Democratic coalition government headed by Staaff's successor as Liberal leader, Nils Edén; the Edén government promptly arrogated most of the king's political powers to itself and enacted numerous reforms, most notably the institution of complete universal suffrage in 1918–1919. While Gustaf still formally appointed the ministers, they now had to have the confidence of Parliament, he was now bound to act on the ministers' advice. Although the provision in the Instrument of Government stating that "the King alone shall govern the realm" remained unchanged, for all intents and purp

Leez Priory

Leez Priory is a 16th-century mansion in Little Leighs, a small parish in the district of Chelmsford in the county of Essex, England. The civil parish boundary between Felsted and Great Waltham crosses the priory, so that it lies in Felsted and in Great Waltham; the priory was designated a Grade I listed building in 1952. In 1220, Sir Ralph Gernon decided that the hamlet of Leez, in a dip by the banks of the River Ter, would provide the perfect location on which to found his monastery, his Augustinian priory thrived for over 300 years. King Henry VIII sent Sir Richard Rich to dismiss the monastery, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; when Sir Richard Rich became the Earl of Warwick, he built his own great house on the site, now known as Leez Priory. The remains of the Augustinian Priory are much in evidence within the grounds to the south of the existing buildings, including extensive underground drainage conduits. Known as "Delicious Leez", both the site and the rose-brick buildings are breathtaking, with old garden walls and fish ponds indicative of life and times past.

In the years that followed, the mansion has been home to the Earls of Warwick and has been visited by Queen Elizabeth I, Princess Mary and many other nobles from the past. In his recent book on the origins of the English Civil War, John Adamson has emphasised the magnificence and political radicalism of Leez Priory in the 17th century, he concludes that in 1640 Leez and its owner, Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, were the “topographical and moral centre” of opposition to the King. Much of it was demolished in 1753. At this time the property was purchased by London. Guy's Hospital were still the owners in 1910, for some time the property had been rented out as a private residence; the priory was designated a Grade I listed building in 1952. In 1995, Leez Priory was the first country house in the UK to be licensed to hold civil ceremonies. BBC - Essex 360 Images - Leez Priory

Microprocessor complex

The Microprocessor complex is a protein complex involved in the early stages of processing microRNA in animal cells. The complex is minimally composed of the ribonuclease enzyme Drosha and the RNA-binding protein DGCR8 and cleaves primary miRNA substrates to pre-miRNA in the cell nucleus; the Microprocessor complex consists minimally of two proteins: a ribonuclease III enzyme. The stoichiometry of the minimal complex has been experimentally difficult to determine, but has been determined by biochemical analysis, single-molecule experiments, X-ray crystallography to be a heterotrimer of two DGCR8 proteins to one Drosha. In addition to the minimal catalytically active Microprocessor components, additional cofactors such as DEAD box RNA helicases and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins may be present in the complex to mediate the activity of Drosha; some miRNAs are processed by Microprocessor only in the presence of specific cofactors. Located in the cell nucleus, the complex cleaves primary miRNA at least 1000 nucleotides long, into precursor miRNA molecules of around 70 nucleotides containing a stem-loop or hairpin structure.

Pri-miRNA substrates can be derived either from introns. In the latter case, there is evidence that the Microprocessor complex interacts with the spliceosome and that the pri-miRNA processing occurs prior to splicing. DGCR8 recognizes the junctions between hairpin structures and single-stranded RNA and serves to orient Drosha to cleave around 11 nucleotides away from the junctions. Microprocessor cleavage of pri-miRNAs occurs co-transcriptionally and leaves a characteristic RNase III single-stranded overhang of 2-3 nucleotides, which serves as a recognition element for the transport protein exportin-5. Pre-miRNAs are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in a RanGTP-dependent manner and are further processed by the endoribonuclease enzyme Dicer. Although the large majority of miRNAs undergo processing by Microprocessor, a small number of exceptions called mirtrons have been described; the processing pathways for microRNA and for exogenously derived small interfering RNA converge at the point of Dicer processing and are identical downstream.

Broadly defined, both pathways constitute RNA interference. Gene regulation by miRNA is widespread across many genomes – by some estimates more than 60% of human protein-coding genes are to be regulated by miRNA, though the quality of experimental evidence for miRNA-target interactions is weak; because processing by Microprocessor is a major determinant of miRNA abundance, Microprocessor itself is an important target of regulation. Both Drosha and DGCR8 are subject to regulation by post-translational modifications modulating stability, intracellular localization, activity levels. Activity against particular substrates may be regulated by additional protein cofactors interacting with the Microprocessor complex; the loop region of the pri-miRNA stem-loop is a recognition element for regulatory proteins, which may up- or down-regulate Microprocessor processing of the specific miRNAs they target. Microprocessor itself is autoregulated by negative feedback through association with a pri-miRNA-like hairpin structure found in the DGCR8 mRNA, which when cleaved reduces DGCR8 expression.

The structure in this case is located in an exon and is unlikely to itself function as miRNA in its own right. Drosha shares striking structural similarity with the downstream ribonuclease Dicer, suggesting an evolutionary relationship, through Drosha and related enzymes are found only in animals while Dicer relatives are distributed, including among protozoans. Both components of Microprocessor are conserved among the vast majority of metazoans with known genomes. Mnemiopsis leidyi, a ctenophore, lacks both Drosha and DGCR8 homologs, as well as recognizable miRNAs, is the only known metazoan with no detectable genomic evidence of Drosha. In plants, the miRNA biogenesis pathway is somewhat different, it has been suggested based on phylogenetic analysis that the key components of RNA interference based on exogenous substrates were present in the ancestral eukaryote as an immune mechanism against viruses and transposable elements. Elaboration of this pathway for miRNA-mediated gene regulation is thought to have evolved later