Although they include the biggest and best survivors, the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace were only two among the many, many royal palaces of Tudor times. Henry VIII owned over 60 houses and the court would visit them for periods varying between a few hours and a few months. Over time, the different royal palaces developed different functions: the Palace of Westminster in London, for example, was for governance, and the Banqueting House in the neighbouring Palace of Whitehall for entertaining.
The Tower of London came to be used only in times of danger and on the night before a coronation. Hampton Court Palace was for pleasure and sport, and tiny Kew Palace was suitable for convalescence and retirement away from the buzz of Windsor or Buckingham Palace. This pattern of movement survives to some extent in today’s Royal Family: the Queen and her court are at Buckingham Palace for business, at Windsor for weekends, at Balmoral in the summer for holidays and at Sandringham for Christmas.