The emperor's new clothes?

  • M. Englund
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: M. Englund, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Orthopedics, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Orthopedics, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for articles by this author
  • A. Turkiewicz
    Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Orthopedics, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for articles by this author
Published:February 08, 2023DOI:
      The ‘Emperor's New Clothes' is a classic Danish tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. The story has been translated into over 100 languages. In brief, the plot is about a vain Emperor who loves spending the state's money on expensive clothing. A couple of swindlers posing as weavers are offering the Emperor clothes made of the most delicate fabric that is said to be visible only to those who are fit for their office and not incompetent. The Emperor hires the swindlers, who set up their looms and pretend to weave. A succession of high officials, followed by the Emperor himself, visit to check the weavers' progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise, to avoid being considered unfit for their office. Eventually, the Emperor sets off in a procession before the whole city to show off his latest exquisite outfit. The people of the city, who have heard rumors of the magic qualities of the clothing, watch uncomfortably as the Emperor walks down the streets, but everybody goes along with the pretense because nobody wants to go against the flow and appear incompetent. Suddenly, a small child blurts out “But he hasn't got anything on!” (Fig. 1).
      Fig. 1
      Fig. 1Illustration of the parade scene from ‘The Emperor's New Clothes' (Image from Shutterstock).
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