An Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “just hopelessly stupid”.
The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same.
When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense.
Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the reasons for keeping up the pretense, blurts out:
“But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
Suddenly, the cry is taken up by others.
The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true but continues the procession.
(Because it’s apt…)