The Better Call Saul star, 61, was told of his royal connection on a new episode of the American genealogy programme, Finding Your Roots, soon after admitting his belief that monarchy is “a little twisted”.
“That is crazy,” he said, between fits of laughter.
Before the revelation, host Henry Louis Gates Jr raised the topic of royal families when he told the actor that he was related to royalty on his father’s side.
Odenkirk said he’d had little knowledge of his paternal family history as his father, Walter, left the family when he was 15.
When Gates Jr told Odenkirk that his father’s fifth great-grandfather was born out of wedlock to Maria Catharina Bein and the Duke of Plön, the actor revealed his apathetic take on the monarchy.
“I’m an American. I’m not a monarchist. I don’t believe in, uh, that,” Odenkirk told Gates Jr.
“You know, I feel like it’s a little twisted. I understand why society built itself around monarchs and leaders, and they passed them down through generations.”
Odenkirk continued by saying that although he acknowledged the prevalence of royalty across the world for generations, society has progressed to a more democratic place.
He added: “I understand that goes through every society, every civilisation. But I think that we’ve gotten to a better place with democracy and we should keep going down that road.”
An amused Gates Jr then tells Odenkirk of his relationship to the British king through the Duke of Plön: he and Charles are 11th cousins.
Enjoying the irony of his royal link, Odenkirk replied with a laugh: “Well maybe I’ll change my mind on that,” referring to his previous statements.
Earlier this month, Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel series fronted by Odenkirk, made an unfortunate record at the Emmys.
After winning none of the seven awards it was in contention for at the ceremony on 15 January, Better Call Saul became the most nominated programme to never secure a trophy in Emmys history, with a total of 53 nods.
Odenkirk, who played the titular dodgy lawyer, was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, but lost out to Kieran Culkin, who won for wrapping up his role as Roman Roy in the final season of Succession.
Since the show concluded with its sixth season in August 2022, this was its final chance to be recognised at the television awards ceremony.