Bob Odenkirk was royally flabbergasted to discover that he's related to a member of the British monarchy in the latest episode of "Finding Your Roots."
The "Breaking Bad" star sat down with the PBS show's host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., to trace his ancestry and got a lot more than he bargained for after Gates revealed that he is 11th cousins with King Charles III.
Ironically, the moment occurred just after Odenkirk admitted to his skepticism about monarchies.
“I’m an American. I’m not a monarchist. I don’t believe in that. You know, I feel like it’s a little twisted," he said during an episode that aired on Jan. 30.
The 61-year-old said he thinks society has gone to a "better place" by evolving past monarchy.
"I understand why society built itself around monarchs and leaders, and they passed them down through generation. I understand that goes through every society, every civilization," he said. "But I think that we’ve gone to a better place with democracy and we should keep going down that road."
"Really?" Gates replied.
"I do," the actor asserted.
The host then dropped his big surprise. "Well guess what? You and King Charles III are 11th cousins," Gates said.
After letting out a guttural laugh, Odenkirk said, "Well, maybe I'll change my mind on that."
"Now there you be trashing your family, how they make a living. You ought to be ashamed of yourself," Gates teased. "You ain't been royal more than five minutes."
Odenkirk laughed and said, "That's so funny, man. That is crazy! I never even thought about that! Of course that's true, right? Cause all these families are related."
"All they did was marry each other," Gates said.
"Eleventh cousins," Odenkirk said again, marveling.
Gates explained that the actor’s sixth great-grandfather Friedrich Carl, who was a duke, is his tie to the current British monarch.
Carl was the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön and he fathered four children with a woman named Maria Catharina Bein, who was Odenkirk's sixth great-grandmother. Bein was the duke's mistress.
"I am descended from the Duke of Plön," Odenkirk exclaimed as he hit his fist against the table in excitement and saluted.
The duke was a member of Europe's aristocracy and owned several homes and a castle. He was 20 years older than Bein and was married to another woman when they had their children.
Odenkirk was concerned, at first, about the power dynamics of their relationship, but Gates showed him something called a marriage promise that the duke had written Bein.
"He loved her," Gates said. "And he promised to marry your sixth great-grandmother, his mistress, if his current wife died."
Seven years after the document was written, the duke died and his wife survived him.
With Odenkirk aware of all the intricacies of his family's history, Gates was curious to know if his thoughts about his ancestry changed.
"It sure does. He didn't just bonk this woman and have fun and run away. Yeah, no, he loved her," the actor said.
While looking at a photo of the duke, Odenkirk could see the family resemblance and he was quite taken aback to hear that his relationship to the duke tied him to several royal families of Europe.
"Bob, how does this make you feel?" Gates asked.
"Like I'm part of history that I didn't think I was any part of," Odenkirk said.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com