"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about an emperor who unwittingly hires two swindlers to create a new suit of clothes for him.
The tale is one of Andersen's most popular. It appears often in selected collections of his work and is frequently published in illustrated storybook editions for children. The tale has seen adaptations in animated film, and television drama.
An emperor of a prosperous city who cares more about clothes than military pursuits or entertainment hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new "clothes". During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "But he has nothing on!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession.
How do you tell the Emperor that things are going wrong, or things that he does not like to hear?