The phrase “the emperor has no clothes” uses the nakedness of a commoner to symbolize that he is an inadequate leader or figurehead. An introductory example of this would be in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, citing a child’s simple sense of truth which all others lacked.
The phrase originates from a well-known anecdote about children who know him as an outcast for their own reasons. In the original tale, it is said that his subjects became aware that they were deceived by speculations about him wearing beautiful clothes but becoming crude and silly once off-the-street; they quickly disregard this concept when one day a child reveals it since it was simply too obvious to see. This points into society being gullible.