The Duke of Sussex said he was “not sure how much longer exams will be around”, during a school visit to mark World Mental Health Day.
The prince made the comment to pupils during an assembly at Nottingham Academy.
It came after he had sat on a Nurture session – designed to boost students’ self-esteem and mental well-being – at the school.
He made the comment after being shown a list of exams the pupils had to sit.
Harry told the assembly: “I’m not sure how much longer exams will be around to be honest”, before telling pupils at least they could look forward to Christmas once exams were finished.
Earlier the royal visitor had been given the cold shoulder by Barney, a therapy dog used by the school, as he sat in on a reluctant readers group.
After being given a fish block to give to the black labradoodle, the prince said: “He’s going to have fish breath for the rest of the day. Great.”
Harry then sat with the group and described exam time as “the best time of year”, before saying “not really”.
Ed Sheeran video
The prince is a passionate supporter of work to improve mental health.
Earlier he teamed up with singer Ed Sheeran on a World Mental Health Day awareness video on Instagram.
The pair joked about their ginger barnets before urging people “to look out for anybody that might be suffering in silence”.
Earlier this week a mental health website struggled to cope with demand after a promotional video voiced by the dukes and duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex aired on TV.
The Every Mind Matters film screened on Sky, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and MTV on Monday evening.
During his Nottingham visit, the prince is due to watch a “hip hopera” at a community recording studio.
The prince is a regular visitor to the East Midlands city, where he supports several initiatives set up to help young people.
It was also the scene of his first joint official public engagement with Meghan Markle in 2017.