Two years after she made the controversial decision to not pledge allegiance to the queen, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says she’s welcoming the Royal Family with open arms.

Helps and four of eight councillors bucked tradition by choosing not to pledge allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II in their swearing-in ceremony following the 2014 municipal election.

The choice sparked a firestorm on social media with some supporting Helps, and others including monarchist groups criticizing her for defying tradition.

Helps maintained she wasn’t an anti-monarchist, and defends the decision today as something that was overblown in the media at the time.

“That was not meant to offend,” Helps told CFAX 1070 Friday. “No other local government in the Capital Region swears an oath of allegiance to the Queen, so it was nothing odd. It was picked up and turned into a big deal for no reason.”

Some local monarchist societies were so upset, they said had they known Helps wouldn’t pledge allegiance prior to the election, they wouldn’t have voted for her.

But fast-forward two years, and the mayor said she’s “thrilled” to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to B.C.’s capital – and that it’s a huge bonus for the region.

“There’s a huge economic impact, and not only that, but people are coming here from across the country, from across North America, to see the Royals,” she said. “We’re handing out our business card to the world.”

Helps will meet with the Royal Family several times during their trip, including Saturday’s welcoming ceremony at the B.C. Legislature