Everyone thought Richard would make a terrible Lord Rahl.
Even though she had told him and told him it was his responsibility to take the throne of D'Hara and lead the people, Cara winced whenever Richard smiled too broadly or made a decision she thought was 'weak.' She would grip her agiels and force her expression back to neutrality, but Richard soon learned to read her opinions by the pattern of her flinches.
Zedd had just begun to treat Richard as the Seeker, the adult, he'd proven himself to be. But ruling even a fraction of the world promised to be far more difficult than just saving it from the Keeper. Now Zedd gave Richard advice whenever he could. The new Lord Rahl was convinced they had to be up to Wizard's Rule #123456.
Kahlan said that she believed in him no matter what, but she revised the D'Haran-Midlands trade agreements (resurrected from before the war, from at least a century ago) all by herself, going so far as to retreat into her study for an entire day and night. When Richard half-heartedly protested that parchmentwork ought to be his job, Kahlan just smiled and told him she'd trained at the Mother Confessor's right hand in Aydindril for years: she was more than equal to the task, and he wasn't to worry about it at all.
Even Jennsen laughed at him when she saw Richard sitting in his throne with her new kitten purring contentedly on his lap. "I'm sorry, Richard!" she explained through her giggles. "You're just not intimidating!"
Richard didn't want to intimidate anyone. And—most of the time, anyway—he didn't need to.
George Cypher had taught his sons to listen.
Michael had ignored the lesson when his grief blinded him to Richard's innocence, but he had remembered and followed their father's legacy in the end.
And Richard was a good listener.
It was the one talent he knew he didn't owe to being the Seeker. And it didn't seem like something the Zoranders were especially known for, much less the Rahls.
Richard was George Cypher's son. He listened, he sympathized. People told him far more about themselves than they ever revealed to a Confessor or a Mord'Sith.
Richard won the hearts of the D'Haran people quickly. He neither wanted nor needed their fear.
When Richard's subjects cried, "For Lord Rahl!" it might be said with eyes rolled heavenward, but they meant it.