History Hampton Court Palace was built in the early 16th century, originally for Cardinal Wolsey. However, Henry VIII soon decided it would be an ideal spot to call his home. The infamous king lived here with all six of his wives and hosted many lavish banquets in the Great Hall. Various monarchs, including William III and Mary II, George I and Queen Anne made many additions to the house and grounds, and Queen Victoria opened the palace to the public in 1838. Since then, visitors have flocked from all over the world. The palace hosts events including the eponymous Flower Show, the 2012 Olympics, and many happy couples' weddings.