One of my favorite things to do in Washington is trying to guess who’s in a passing motorcade. The president’s motorcade is easy to spot: Two identical limousines flying the US and presidential flags with a large number of support vehicles. Unfortunately, the president (at least the current one) doesn’t leave the White House often so it’s a rare sight. You’ll have better luck spotting the vice president (the veep’s limo is smaller as it’s the president’s hand-me-down) since he or she travels from the Naval Observatory residence to the White House daily. The vice president also travels to Capitol Hill weekly for the caucus luncheon of his or her party. These two are the only ones that don’t have to stop for traffic lights.
Black Chevy Suburbans are the vehicles of choice for cabinet members, visiting heads of state or government, and the First Lady. Cabinet secretaries have two to five cars depending on their security risk. The First Lady’s motorcade is bigger if she is traveling to an event announced ahead of time. If it’s an unannounced trip she could be next to you at a red light in a silver Suburban.
You can tell the country of a foreign dignitary by the flag flying on the right fender. Again, the size of the motorcade is based on the security risk. The prime minister of the UK’s will be larger than that of Belize.
Above you see the king and queen of the Netherlands leaving Arlington National Cemetery after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknow Soldier. She did give us the “queen wave” as she went past.